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Full text of "The poetical works of James Russell Lowell"

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1 



LOWELL'S POETICAL WOBKS. 



m09' 



TH£ r.'hlW YORK 

PUBLIC LIBRARY 



1 



A3T0R. LENOX 



k^i*a*>AdM^HaK i 







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U 11:'1!?»«. T ' 



THE 



POETICAL WORKS 



OP "^ ' 



JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL. 



iltto ^tbtBtln <Sbition. 



WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS. 




* J 
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BOSTON: 
HOUGHTON, OSGOOD AND COMPANY. 

QPbe BilKtsOie Pcnv, CiiiMkir. 

1879. 



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THE NEW YORK 

''"mm 

ASTOR. LENOX AND 
TILDEN FOUNDATIONS 

^ 1918 L 



COPYIIIOHT, 1857, 18dB, 1M8, ISeO. aud 1876, 
By JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL 



• • • 



• « • 



» • 



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* ♦ « 



• • • 



■» » «. It, 



Univbiksity Pxbss : Wblch, Bicblow, ft Co., 
Cambridge. 



TO 



GEORGE WILLIAM CTJIITIS, 



E^i$ Iit%i CompUtt SHitton of ms Ponns 



IS A7TSCT10NATELT INSCBIBED. 



CONTENTS. 



EARUEB FOElfS. 
Threnodia . 
The Sirens 
Ireii6 . 
Serenade. 



PAOE 

1 

2 

8 

4 

With a Pressed Flower 5 

The Beggar 5 

IfyLoTe 6 

6 

7 

8 

9 

9 

9 

10 



Summer Storm 

Love 

To Perdita, Singing 

The Moon 

Remembered Music 

Song 

Allegra 

The Fountain 10 

Ode 11 

The Fitherland 18 

The Forlorn 14 

Midnight 15 

A Prayer 15 

The Heritage 15 



The Rose: A Ballad 
Song . 
Rosaline . 
A Requiem 
A Parahle 
Song . 



16 
17 
17 
IS 

18 
19 



SONNETS. 



L 
II. 

HI. 

IV. 
V. 

n. 

TIL 

vni. 

IX. 

X. 



tt 



To A. C. L in 

" What were I, Love " 10 

I would not have this perfect love " 20 

20 

20 

"Great Truths are portions of the soul** 20 

" I aslc not for those thoughts*' 20 

To M. W., on her birthday 21 

" My Love, I have no fear " 21 

"I cannot think that thou" 21 



" For this true nobleness 
To the Spirit of Keats 



VI 



CONTENTS. 



XL 
XII. 

XIII. 

XIV. 
XV. 

XVI. 

XVII. 

XVIIL 

XIX 

XX. 

XXI. 

XXIL 

XXIII. 

XXIV. 

XXV. 

XXVI. 
XXVII. 



" There never yet was flower " 

Sab Pondere Creecif 

" Beloved, in the noisy city here " 

On reading Wordsworth's Sonnets in Defence of Capital PunLshment 
The same continued - . . . . 



The same continued 
The same continued .... 
The same continued .... 
The same continued .... 

To M. O. a 

" Our love is not a fading, eartlily flower' 

In Absence 

WendeU Phillips .... 

The Street 

" I grieve not that ripe Knowledge** 

To J. R Olddings 

" I thought our love at fUl " . 



L'Envoi 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMa 

A Legend of Brittany 

Prometheus 

The Shepherd of King Admetus .... 

The Token 

An Incident in a Railroad Car 

BhcBCus 

The Falcon 

Trial 

A Glance behind the Curtain . ... 

A Chippewa Legend 

Stanzas on Freedom 

Columbus 

An Incident of the Fire at Hambuiig 

The Sower 

Hunger and Cold 

The Landlord 

To a Pine-Tree 

Si Descendero in Inferoum, Ades 

To the Past 

To the Future 

Hebe 

The Search 

^ The Present Crisis 

An Indian-Summer Reverie 

The Growth of tlie Legend .... 

A Contrast 

Extreme Unction 

The Oak 

Ambrose 

Above and Below 

The Captive 

The Birch-Tree 

An Inter\iew with Miles Standish .... 
On the Capture of Fugitive Slaves near Washington 



24 
22 

22 
22 
22 
22 
23 
23 
23 
23 
24 
24 
24 
24 
25 
25 
25 

25 



27 
38 
44 
44 
44 
40 
48 
48 
49 
54 
56 
56 
60 
61 
61 
62 
63 
63 
64 
05 
66 
66 
67 
60 
74 
76 
76 
77 
78 
79 
79 
60 
81 
82 



To the Dandelion 

The Ghost-Seer 

Stttdiee for two Heads 

On a Portrait of Dante by Oiotto 



CONTENTS. VU 

83 

84 

86 

87 

On the Death of a Friend's Child 87 

Eorydice 89 

She Came and Went 90 

The Changelmg 90 

The Pioneer 91 

Longing 92 

Ode to France 92 

Anti-Apis 94 

A Parable 96 

Ode written for the Celebration of the Introduction of the Oochitnate Water into the 

City of Boston 96 

Lines suggested by the graves of two English Soldiers on Concord Battle-Ground . 97 

To 98 

Freedom 98 

BibUolatzes 99 

Beaver Brook 100 

JIEMORIAL VERSES. 

Kossuth 101 

To Lamartine ' 101 

To John O. Palfrey 102 

To W. L. Garrison lOS 

On the Death of C. T. Torrey 104 

Elegy on the Death of Dr. Channing 104 

To the Memory of Hood 106 



THE VISION OF SIR LAUNFAL 



107 



I 



A FABLE FOB CRITICS 



113- 



THE BIOLOW PAPERS. Fibst Skribs. 

Notices of an Independent Press 153 

Note to TiUe-Page 160 

Introduction 162 

I. A Letter from Mr. Exekiol Biglow of Jaalam to the Hon. Joseph T. Buckingham 169 
IL A Letter f^om Mr Hosea Biglow to the Hon. J. T. Buckingham .171 

iiL What Mr. Robinson thinks 175 

IT. Remarks of Increase D. O'Phace, Esq 179 

▼. The Debate in the Sennit 185 

VI. The Pious Editor's Creed 187 

VII. A liOtter fjrom a Candidate for the Presidency in answer to suttin Questions 

proposed by Mr. Hosea Biglow 190 

viiL A second Letter fhim R Sawin, Esq. 193 

IX. A third Letter firom R Sawin, Esq 199 

THE BIGLOW PAPERS. Secokd Series. 

Introduction 209 

t. BirdofrednmSawIn, Esq., to Mr. Hosea Biglow 231 

IL Mason and Slidell : A Yankee Idyll 238 

III. Birdof^edum Sawin, Esq., to Mr. Hosea Biglow 250 

IV. A Message of Jeff Davis in Secret Session 257 

V. Speech of Honourable Preserved Doe in Secret Caucus .... 263 



VIU 



CONTENTS. 



VL Sonthia'Jn the Paatoral Line .209 

VII. Latest Views of Mr. Biglow 275 

viiz. Kettelopotonuchia 279 

IX. Some memorials of the late Reverend H. Wilbiir 282 

z. Mr. Hosea Biglow to the Editor of the Atlantic Monthly 2S5 

XI. Mr. Hoaea Biglow's Speech in March Meeting 2S7 

Olossabt 296 

Index 299 

THE UNHAPPY LOT OP MR KNOTT 811 

AN ORIENTAL APOLOGUE 822 

UNDER THE WILLOWS, AND OTHER POEMS. 

To Charles Eliot Norton 829 

Under the Willows 829 

Dara 885 

The First Snow-Fall . . '. 836 

The Singing Leaves 887 

Sea-Weed 838 

The Finding of the Lyre 838 

New-Tear's Eve. 1850 839 

For an Autograph 839 

Al Fresco 889 

Masaccio 840 

Without and Within 841 

Oodminster Chimes 841 

The Parting of the Ways 842 

Aladdin 844 

An Invitation 344 

The Nomades 845 

Self-Study 846 

Pictures trom Appledore 847 

The Wind-Harp 851 

Auf Wiedersehen 852 

Palinode 852 

After the Burial 858 

The Dead House 853 

A Mood 854 

The Voyage to Vinland 854 

Mahmood the Image- Breaker 858 

Invita Minerva 859 

The Fountain of Youth 859 

Yussouf 862 

The Darkened Mind 362 ^ 

What RabblJehosha said 863 

All-Saints 363 

A Winter-Evening Hymn to my Fli-e 363 

Fancy's Casuistry 865 

To Mr. John Bartlett 866 

Ode to Happiness 867 

Villa Franca 368 

The Miner 869 

Gold Egg : A Dream-Fantasy 869 



■ ■■■ I ■ I 



CONTENTS. ix 

A FaxniUtf Epistle to a Friend 871 

An Ember Fictan 873 

To H. W. L. 874 

The NlghUngale In the Stndy 875 ' 

In the Twilight 875 > 

TheFoot-Fftth 876 



POEMS OF THE WAB. 

The Washers of the Shrond 878 

Two Scenes from the Life of Blondel 880 

Memoris Fositum 881 

On Board the 76 883 

Ode recited at the Harraxd GominemoiEtion 884 

L'Envoi : To the Mnse 890 

THE CATHEDRAL .893 

THUEB HEMORIAL POEM& 

Ode on the Hundredth AnniTenaxy of the Fight at Concord Bridge ... 407 

Under the Old Elm at Cambridge 410 

An Ode for the Fourth of July 416 

INDEX '. ... 421 






i 




n 



1 
i 

I LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 1 

I I 

i I 



Pige 

"Come and rest thee! O, come hither" 2 

Irene ^ 

"Moaning in vagae immennty" 9 

"All souls did reverence him, and name him Maker '* . . 11 

" The moon shines white and silent " 15 

"Whendrope with welcome rain the April day" 24 

" Leaning once against the old oak's tnink " 80 

" There sits drear Egypt, mid beleagaering sands " .... 64 

"Erery bush and tree Says Autumn 'shore" 70 

"Your eyes The advancing spears of day can see " .... 79 

"Some woodland gap" 84 

" A troop of wandering angels Stole my little daughter away " . . 90 

"Since first I saw Atlantic throw On our fierce rocks his thunderous snow" 94 

" Autumns, when our leaves Drop loosely " 98 

"Sweet Beaver, child of forest still " 100 

" Over his keys the musing organist " 107 

" Here on the rushes willl sleep " 108 

i " So he mused, as he sat, of a sunnier clime " 110 

I 

j " Stood before him glorified " 112 



• • 



Xll LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS. 

"There sot Haldy all alone" 156 

'*They wa3 cried In meetin' come nex' Sunday" 280 

<*'zl wa8aettin'inthebara.tekin'sathin'hot" . . . .' . 284 

" Flashed on afore the chain's thunder " 287 

" He, Still found his trouble waxing " 816 

" June is full of invitations sweet " 880 

** I stood and watched by the window '* 886 

" My coachman in the moonlight there " 841 

*< Look southward for White Island light" 850 

"Tosoftest outline rounds the roof" 865 

*'The unexringfly I seehimcast" 866 

" The torrents flashed and tumbled ' 888 

Porch of the Cathedral of Chartres •. 892 








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— ■I 



EARLIER POEMS. 



THBENODIA. 

GoyE, gone from us ! and shall we see 
Those sibyl-leaves of destiny, 
Those calm eyes, nevermore ? 
Those deep, dirk eyes so wann and 

bright, 
Wherein the fortunes of the man 
Lay slambering in prophetic light. 
In characters a child might scan ? 
So bright, and gone forth utterly I 
O stem word — Nevermore 1 

The stars of those two gentle eyes 
Will shine no more on earth ; 
Quenched are the hopes that had their 

birth. 
As we watched them slowly rise, 
Stars of a mother's fate ; 
And she would read them o'er and o'er, 
Pondering, as she sate. 
Over their dear astrology. 
Which she had conned and conned before. 
Deeming she needs must reatd aright 
What was writ so passing bright. 
And yet, alas ! she knew not why. 
Her voice would falter in its song. 
And tears would slide from out her eye. 
Silent, as they were doing wrong. 

stern woi-d — Nevermore I 

The tongue that scarce had learned to 
claim 
An entrance to a mother's heart 
By that dear talisman, a mother's name, 
Sleeps all foi^etful of its art ! 

1 loved to see the infant soul 
(How mighty in the weakness 
Of its untutore<l meekness 1) 
Peep timidly from out its nest, 
H» lips, the while, 
Fluttering with half-fledged words. 

Or hushing to a smile I 

That more than words expressed, 



When his glad mother on him stole 
And snatched him to her breast ! 
0, thoughts were brooding in those eyes, 
That would have soared like strong- 
winged birds 
Far, far into the skies. 
Gladding the eaith with song. 
And gushing harmonies. 
Had he but tarried with us long I 
stem word — Nevermore ! 

How peacefully they rest, 
Crossfolded there 
Upon his little breast, 
Those small, white hands that ne'er were 

still before, 
But ever sported with his mother's hair, 
Or the plain cross that on her breast she 

wore ! 
Her heart no more will beat 
To feel the touch of that soft palm, 
Tliat ever seemed a new surprise 
Sending glad thoughts up to her eyes 
To bless nira with their noly calm*, — 
Sweet thoughts ! they made her eyes as 

sweet. 
How quiet are the hands 
That wove those pleasant bands ! 
But that they do not rise and sink 
With his calm breathing, I should think 
That he were dropped asleep. 
Alas ! too deep, too deep 
Is this his slumber ! 
Time scarce can number 
The years ere he will wake again. 
0, may we see his eyelids open then ! 
stem word — Nevermore ! 

As the airy gossamere. 
Floating in the sunlight clear, 
Where'er it toucheth clingeth tightly. 
Round glossy leaf or stump unsightly, 
So from his spirit wandered out 
Tendrils spreading all about. 



I—- . 



EARLIEB POEMS. 



Knitting all things to itfi thrall 
With a perfect love of all : 
stem word — Nevermore I 

He did bat float a little way 
Adown the streaun of time, 
With dreamy eyes watching the ripples 

play, 
Or hearkening their fairy chime ; 
His slender sail 
Ne'er felt the gale ; 
He did but float a little way, 
And, putting to the sliore 
While yet 't was early day, 
Went calmly on his way. 
To dwell with us no more t 
No jarring did he feel, 
No grating on his vessel's keel ; 
A strip of silver sand 
Mingled the waters with the land 
Where he was seen no more : 
O stem word — Nevermore ! 

Full short his journey was ; no dust 
Of earth unto his sandals clave ; 
The weary weight that old men must, 
He bore not to the grave. 
He seemed a cherub who had lost his 

way 
And wandered hither, so his stay 
With us was short, and 'twas most meet 
That he should be no delver in earth's 

clod. 
Nor need to pause and cleanse his feet 
To stand before his God: 
O blest word — Evermore ! 



THE SIRENS. 

The sea is lonely, the sea is dreary, 
The sea is restless nnd uneasy ; 
Thou seekest quiet, thou art weary. 
Wandering thou knowest not whith- 
er;— 
Our little ish» is green and breezy. 
Come and rest thee ! come hither, 
Come to this peaceful home of ours, 

Where evermore 
The low west-wind creeps panting up 

tlie shore 
To he at rest among the flowers ; 
Full of rest, the green moss lifts, 

As the dark waves of the sea 
Draw in and out of rocky rifts. 

Calling solemnly to thee 
With voices deep and hollow, — 



"To the shore 
Follow ! O, follow ! 
To be at rest forevermore ! 
Forevermore ! " 

Look how the gray old Ocean 
From the depth of his heart rejoices. 
Heaving with a gentle motion. 
When he hears our I'estful voices ; 
List how he sings in an undertone, 
Chiming with our melody ; 
And all sweet sounds of earth and air 
Melt into one low voice alone. 
That murmurs over the weary sea. 
And seems to sing from everywhere, — 
" Here mayst thou harbor ppacefully, 
Here mayst thou rest from the aching 
oar; 
Turn thy curved prow ashore, 
And in our green isle rest forevermore ! 

Forevermore ! " 
And Echo half wakes in the wooded hill. 
And, to her heart so calm and deep. 
Murmurs over in her sleep, 
DpubtfuUy pausing and mumiuring still, 
" Evermore 1^' 

Thus, on Life'a weary sea, 
Heareth the marinere 
Voices sweet, from far and near. 
Ever singing low and clear. 
Ever singing longingly. 

Is it not better here to be. 
Than to be toiling late and soon ? 
In the dreary ni^t to see 
Nothing but the blood-red moon 
Go up and down into the sea ; 
Or, in the loneliness of day. 

To see the still seals only 
Solemnly lift their faces gray. 

Making it yet more lonely ? 
Is it not better than to hear 
Only the sliding of the wave 
Beneath the plank, and feel so near 
A cold and lonely grave, 
A re.stless grave, y^cve thou shalt lie 
Even in death unquietly ? 
Look down beneath thy wave-worn baik. 

Lean over the side and see 
The leaden eye of the sidelong shark 
Uptumtkl patiently, 

Ever waiting there for thee : 
Look down and see those shapeless forms. 

Which ever keep their dreamless sleep 

Far down within the gloomy deep. 
And only stir themselves in storms, 
Kising like islands from beneath. 






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PUBLIC LIBRAR"^ 

ASTOR, LEN-OX. 
nLDuN fCUNDAUONS 



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And snorting through the angry spray, 

As the frail vessel peri^heth 

In the whirls of their iinuieKly play ; * 

Look down ! Look down ! 
Upon the seaweed, slimy and dark, 
That waves its arms so lank and brown, 

Beckoning for thee ! 
Look down beneath thy wave-worn bark 
Into the cold depth of the sea ! 
Look down ! Look down ! 
Thus, on Life's lonely sea, 
Heareth the marinere 
Voices sad, from far and near, 
Ever singing full of fear, 
Ever singing drearfiilly. 



Here all is pleasant as a dream ; 

The wind scarce shaketh down the dew, 

The green grass floweth like a stream 

Into the ocean's blue ; 

Listen ! 0, listen ! 

Here is a gush of many streams, 

A song of many birds. 
And every wish and longing seems 
Lulled to a numbered flow of words, — 

Listen ! O, listen ! 
Here ever hum the golden bees 
Underneath full-blossomed trees. 
At once with glowing fruit and flowers 
crowned ; — 
I The sand is so smooth, the yellow sand, 
- That thy keel will not grate as it touches 

the land ; 
I All around with a slumberous sound. 
The singing waves slide up the strand, 
And there, where the smooth, wet peb- 
bles be, 
The waters gurgle longingly, 
As if they fain would seek the shore. 
To be at rest from the ceaseless roar, 
To be at rest forevermore, — 
Forevermore. 
Thus, on Life's gloomy sea, 
Heareth the lAarinere 
Voices sweet, from far and near, 
Ever singing in his ear, 
' ' Here is rest and peace for thee ! " 



IREN^. 

Hers is a spirit deep, and crystal-clear ; 
Calmly beneath her earnest face it lies. 
Free without boldness, meek without a 

fear. 
Quicker to look than speak its sympa- 
thies, 



Far down into her large and patient eyes 
I gaze, deep-drinking of the infinite, 
As, in the mid-watch of aclear, still night, 
I look into the fathomless bine skies. 

So circled lives she with Love's holy 

light. 
That from the shade of self she walkcth 

free; 
The ganlen of her soul still keepeth she 
An Eden where the snake did never enter ; 
She hath a natural, wise sincerity, 
A simple truthfulness, and these have lent 

her 
A dignity as moveless as the centre ; 
So that no influence of earth can stir 
Her steadfast courage, nor can take away 
The holy peacefulness, which night and 

day. 
Unto her (queenly soul doth minister. 

Most gentle is she ; her larj^ charity 
(An all unwitting, childlike gift in her) 
Not freer is to give than meek to bear ; 
And, though herself not unacquaint with 

care, 
Hath in her heart wide room for all that 

be, — 
Her heart that hath no secrets of its own. 
But open is as eglantine full blown. 
Cloudless forever is her brow serene, 
Speaking calm hope and trust within her, 

wnence 
Welleth a noiseless spring of patience, 
That keepeth all her life so fresh, so green 
And full of hoIineHS, that every look. 
The greatness of her woman's soul reveal- 
ing, 
Unto me bringeth blessing, and a feeling 
As when I read in God's own holy book. 

A graciousness in giving that doth make 
The small'st gift greatest, and a sense 

most meek 
Of worthiness, that doth not fear to take 
From others, but which always fears to 

speak 
Its thanks in utterance, for the giver's 

sake ; — 
The deep religion of a thankful heart, 
Which rests instinctively in Heaven's 

clear law 
With a full peace, that never can depart 
From its own steadfastness ; — a holy awe 
For holy things, — not those which men 

call holy. 
But such as are revealed to the eyes 



i4 



EARLIER POEMS. 



or a true woman's soul bent down and 

lowly 
Before th« face of daily mysteries ; — 
A love that blossoms soon, but ripens 

slowly 
To the full goldenness of fruitful prime, 
Enduring with a firmness that defies 
All shallow tricks of circumstance and 

time, 
By a sure insight knowing where to cling, 
And where it clingeth never withering ; — 
These are Irene's dowry, which no fate 
Can shake from their serene, deep-builded 

state. 

In-seeing sympathy is hers, which chas- 
teneth 

No less than loveth, scorning to be bound 

"With fear of blame, and yet which ever 
hasteneth 

To pour the balm of kind looks on the 
wound, 

If they be wounds which such sweet teach- 
ing makes, 

Giving itself a pang for others' sakes ; 

No want of faith, that chills with side- 
long eye, 

Hath she ; no jealousy, no Levite pride 

That pQsseth by uix)n the other side ; 

For in her soul there never dwelt a lie. 

Right from the hand of God her spirit 
came 

Unstained, and she hath ne'er forgotten 
whence 

It came, nor wandered far from thence. 

But laboreth to keep her still the same. 

Near to her place oi birth, that she may 
not 

Soil her white raiment with an earthly 
spot. 

Yet sets she not her soul so steadily 
Above, that she forgets her ties to earth. 
But her whole thought would almost seem 

to be 
How to make glad one lowly human 

hearth ; 
For with a gentle courage she doth strive 
lu thought and word and feeling so to 

live 
As to make earth next heaven ; and her 

heart 
Herein doth show its most exceeding 

worth, 
That, bearing in our frailty her lust part. 
She hath not shrunk from evils of this 

life, 



But hath gone calmly forth into the 
strife. 

And all its sins and sorrows hath with- 
stood 

With lofty sti'ength of patient woman^ 
.hood : 

For this I love her great soul more than 
all, 

That, being bound, like us, with earthly 
thrall, 

She walks so bright and heaven-like 
therein, — 

Too wise, too meek, too womanly, to sin. 

Like a lone star through riven storm- 
clouds seen 
By sailors, tempest-tost upon the sea. 
Telling of rest and peaoeful heavens nigh. 
Unto my soul her star-like soul hath 

been. 
Her sight as full of hope and calm to 

me ; — 
For she unto herself hath builded high 
A home serene, wherein to lay her head, 
Eaith's noblest thing, a Woman per- 
fected, 

SERENADE. 

From the close-shut windows gleams no 

spark, 
The nignt is chilly, the night is dark. 
The poplars shiver, the pine-trees moan. 
My hair by the autumn breeze is blown, 
Under thy window I sing alone, 
Alone, alone, ah woe ! alone! 

The darkness is pressing coldly around, 
The windows shake with a lonely soun<i. 
The stars are hid and the night is drear. 
The heart of silence throbs in tliine ear. 
In thy chamber thou sittest alone, 

A*one, alone, ah woe ! alone 1 

• 

The world is happy, the world is wide. 
Kind hearts are l>eating on every side ; 
Ah, why should we lie so coldly curled 
Alone in the shell of this gieat worid ? 
Why should we any more i)e alone ? * 
Alone, alone, ah woe ! alone ! 

0, 't is a bitter and dreary word. 
The saddest by man's ear ever heard ! 
We each are young, we each have a heart. 
Why stand we ever coldly ajiart ? 
Must we forever, then, be alone I 
Alone, alone, ah woe ! alone 1 



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WITH A PRESSED FLOWER. — MY LOVE. 






k 



WITH A FRE3SED FLOWER. 

This little blossom from afar 
Hath come from other laniU to thine ; 
For, onc*e, its white and drooping star 
Could see its shadow in the Rhine. 

Perchance some fair-haired German maid 
Hath plucked one from the self;$ame 

stalk. 
And numbered over, half afraid, 
Its petals in her evening walk. 

" He loves me, loves me not," she cries ; 
** He loves me moi'e than earth or 

heaven ! ** 
And then glad tears have tilled her eyes 
To find the number was uneven. 

And thou must count its petals well. 
Because it is a gift from me ; 
And the last one of all shall tell 
Something I 've ofCen told to thee. 

But here at home, where we were bom, 
Thou wilt find flowers just as true, 
Down-bentling every summer morn. 
With freshuess of ^ew- England dew. 

For Nature, ever kind to love, 

Hath granted them the same sweet 

tongue. 
Whether with German skies above, 
Or here oar granite rocks among. 



THE BEGGAR. 

A BEGGAR through the world am I, -^ 
From place to place I wander by. 
Fill up my pilgrim's scrip for me. 
For Ciirist*8 sweet sake and charity ! 

A little of thy steadfastness, 
Rounded with leafy gracefulness, 
OUl oak, give me, — 
That the world's blasts may round me 

blow, 
And I yield gently to and fro, 
While ray stout-hearted tnink below 
And firm-set roots unshaken be. 

Some of thy stem, un3rielding might. 
Enduring still through day and night 
Rude tempest • shock and withering 

blight, - 
That I may keep at bay 



The changeful April sky of chance 
And the strong tide of circumstance, — 
Give me, old granite gray. 

Some of thy pensiveness serene. 

Some of thy never-dying green, 

Put in thin scrip of mine, — 

That griefs may fall like snow-flakes 

light, 
And deck me in a robe of white, 
Ready to be an angel bright, — 

sweetly mournful pine. 

A little of thy merriment. 
Of thy s|iarkling, light content. 
Give mo, my cheerful brook, — 
That I may still be full of glee 
And gladsomeness, where'er I be. 
Though fickle fate hath prisoned me 
In some neglected nook. 

Ye have been very kind and good 
To me, since I *ve been in the wood ; 
Ye have gone nigh to fill my heart ; 
But good by, kind friends, every one, 

1 've far to go ere set of sun ; 

Of all good things 1 would have part, 
The day was high ere 1 could start, 
And so my journey 's scarce begun. 

Heaven* help me ! how could I forget 
To beg of Ihee, dear violet ! 
Some of thy modesty. 
That blossoms here as well, unseen, 
As if before the world thou *dst been, 
O, give, to strengthen me. 



MT LOVE. 

I. 

Not as all other women are 
Is she that to my soul is dear ; 
Her glorious fancies come from far, 
Beneath the silver evening-star. 
And yet her heart is ever near. 

II. 

Great feelings hath she of her own. 
Which lesser souls may never know ; 
God giveth th<*m to her alone, 
And sweet they are as any tone 
Wherewith the wind may choose to blow. 

III. 

Yet in herself she dwelleth not, 
Although no home were half so fair ; 



EABLIEB POEMS. 



No simplest duty is foi*got. 
Life hath no dim and lowly spot 
That doth not in her sunshine share. 



IV. 



She doeth little kindnesses, 
Which most leave undone, or despise : 
For naught that sets one heart at ease, 
And giveth happiness or peace, 
Is low-esteemed in her eyes. 



V. 



She hath no scorn of common things, 
And, thonsh she seem of other birth, 
Kound us her heart in twines and clings. 
And patiently she folds her wings 
To tread the humble paths of earth. 



VI. 



Blessing she is : God made her so, 
And deeds of week-day holiness 
Fall from her noiseless as the snow, 
Nor hath she ever chanced to know 
That aught were easier than to bless. 



VII. 



She is roost fair, and thereunto 
Her life doth rightly harmonize ; 
Feeling or thought that was not true 
Ne'er made less beautiful the blue 
Unclouded heaven of her eyes. 



VIII. 



She is a woman : one in whom 
The spring-time of her childish years 
Hath never lost its fresh perfume, 
Though knowing well that life hath room 
For many blights and many tears. 



IX. 



I love her with a love as still 
Ah a broad river's ])oacefnl might, 
"Which, by high tower and lowly mill, 
Goes wandering at its own will. 
And yet doth ever flow aright. 



X. 



And, on its full, deep breast serene. 
Like quiet isles my anties lie ; 
It flows around them and between. 
And makes them fresh and fair and green. 
Sweet homes wherain to live and die. 



8TJMMER 8T0BM. 



Untremulous in the river clear, 
Toward the sky's image, liangs the im- 
aged bridge ; 
So still the air that I can hear 
The slender clarion of the unseen midge ; 
Out of the stillness, with a gathenng 
creep. 
Like rising wind in leaves, which now 

decreases. 
Now lulls, now swells, and all the while 
increases. 
The huddling trample of a drove of 
slieep 
Tilts the loose planks, and then as grad- 
ually ceases 
In dust on the other side ; life's em- 
blem deep, 
A confused noise between two silences, 
Finding at last in dust precarious peace. 
On the wide marsh the purple-blossomed 
grasses 
Soak up the sunshine ; sleeps the 
brimming tide, 
Save when the wedge-shaped wake in 
silence passes ^ 

Of some slow water-rat, whose sinuous 
glide 
Wavera the long green sedge's shade from 

side to side ; 
But up the west, like a rock -shivered 
surge, 
Climbs a ^at cloud edged with sun* 
whitened spray ; 
Huge whirls of foam boil toppling o*er 
its verge. 
And falling still it seems, and yet it 
dimos alway. 

Suddenly all the sky is hid 
As with the shutting of a lid. 
One by one great drops are falling 

Doubtful and slow, 
Down the )>ane they are crookedly 
crawling, 
And the wind breathes low ; 
Slowly the circles widen on the 
river, 
Widen and mingle, one and all ; 
Here and there the slenderer flowers 
shiver. 
Struck by an icy rain-drop's fall. 

Now on the hills I hear the thnnder 
mutter, 
The wind is gathering in the west ; 



LOVE. 



The nptnmed leaves first whiten and 
flutter. 
Then droop to a fitful rest ; 
Up from the stream with sluggish flap 
Struggles the gull and floats away ; 
Nearer and nearer rolls the thunder- 
clap, — 
We shall not see the sun go down to- 
day: 
Now leaps the wind on the sleepy marsh. 
And tramples the grass with terrified 
feet. 
The startled river turns leaden andharah. 
You can hear the quick heart of the 
tempest beat. 

Look ! look ! that livid flash ! 
And instantly follows the rattling thun- 
der. 
As if some cloud-crag, split asunder, 
Fell, splintering with a ruinous 
crash. 
On the Earth, which crouches in silence 
under ; 
And now a solid gray wall of rain 
Shuts off the lands<^pe, mile by mile ; 
For a breath's sijace I see the blue 
wood again. 
And ere the next heart-beat, the wind- 
hurled pile, 
That seemed but now a league aloof. 
Bursts crackling o*er the sun-parched 
roof; 
Against the windows the storm comes 

dashing, 
Through tattered foliage the hail tears 
crashing. 
The blue lightning flashes, 
The rapid miil clashes. 
The white waves are tumbling, 

And, in one bafiled roar, 
Like the toothless sea mumbling 

A rock -bristled shore, 
The thunder is rumbling 
And crashing and crura nling, — 
Will silence return nevermore ? 

Hush! Still as death, 
The tempest holds his breath 
As from a sudden will ; 
The rain stops short, but from the 

eaves 
You see it drop, and hear it from the 
leaves. 
All is so bodingly still ; 
Again, now, now, again 
Flashes the rain in heavy gouts. 



The crinkled lightning 
Seems ever brightening, 
And loud and long 
Again the thunder shouts 
His battle-song, — 
One quivering flash. 
One wildering crash. 
Followed bv silence dead and dull, 
As if the cloud, let go, 
Leapt bodily below 
To whelm the earth in one mad over- 
throw, 
And then a total lulL 

Gone, gone, so soon ! 
No more my half-crazed fancy 

there. 
Can shape a giant in the air, 
No more 1 see his streaming hair, 
The writhing portent of his form ; — 
The pale and quiet moon 
Makes her calm forehead bare, 
And the last fragments of the storm. 
Like sliattered rigging from a fight at sea, 
Silent and few, are drifting over ma 



LOVB. 

True Love is but a humble, low-bom 
thing. 

And hath its food served up in earthen 
ware ; 

It is a thing to walk with, hand in hand, 

Through the every-dayness of this work- 
day world. 

Baring its tender feet to every roughness. 

Yet letting not one heart-beat go astray 

From Beauty's law of plainness and con- 
tent ; 

A simple, fireside thing, whose quiet 
smile 

Can warm earth's poorest hovel to a 
home ; 

Which, when our autumn cometh, as it 
must, 

And life in the chill wind shivers bare 
and leafless, 

Shall still he blest with Indian-sumnit^r 
youth 

In bleak November, and, with thankful 
heart, 

Smile on its ample stores of garnered 
fruit, 

As full of sunshine to our aged eyes 

As when it nursed the blossoms of our 
spring. 



t^mt ■ i"^ *■ 



8 



EAItLI£B POEMS. 



Such is true Love, which steals into the 

heart 
With feet as silent as the lightsome dawn 
That kisses smooth the rough brows of 

the dark, 
And hath its will through blissful gen- 
tleness, — 
Not like a rocket, which, with savage 

glare, 
Whirs suddenly up, then bursts, and 

leaves the night 
Painfully quivering on the dazed eyes ; 
A love that gives and tidces, that seeth 

faults, 
Not with flaw-seeking eyes like needle 

points, 
But loving-kindly ever looks them down 
With the o'ercouiiug faith of meek for- 
giveness; 
A love that shall be new and fresh each 

hour, 
As is the golden mystery of sunset. 
Or the sweet coming of the evening-star, 
Alike, and yet most unlike, every day, 
And seeming ever best and fairest nmo; 
A love that doth not kneel for what it 

seeks, 
But faces Truth and Beauty as their 

peer, 
Showing its worthiness of noble thoughts 
By a clear sense of inward nobleness ; 
A love that in its object findeth not 
All grace and beauty, and enonch to sate 
Its thirst of blessing, but, in all of good 
Found there, it sees but Heaven-granted 

types 
Of good and beauty in the soul of man, 
And traces, in the simplest heart that 

beats, 
A family-likeness to its chosen one, 
That claims of it the rights of l^rother- 

hood. 
For love is blind but with the fleshly 

eye, 
That so its inner sight may be more clear ; 
And outward shows of beauty only so 
Are needful at the first, as is a hand 
To guide and to uphold an infant's steps : 
Great sidnts need them not : their earnest 

look 
Pierws the body's mask of thin disguise, 
And beauty ever is to them revealed. 
Behind the unshapeliest, meanest lump 

of clay. 
With anns outstretched and eager face 

ablaze, 
Yearning to be but understood and loved. 



TO PEBDITA, BINaiKa 

Thy voice is like a fountain. 

Leaping up in clear moonshine ; 
Silver, silver, ever mounting, 
£ver sinking, 
Without thinking. 
To that brimful heart of thine. 
Every sad and ha]ipy feeling. 
Thou hast had in bygone years, 
Through thy lips comes stealing, steal- 

Clear and low ; 
All thy smiles and all thy tears 
In thy voice awaken. 
And sweetness, wove of joy and woe. 
From their teaching it hath taken : 
Feeling and music move together, 
Like a swan and shadow ever 
Floating on a sky-blue river 
In a day of cloudless weather. 

It hath caught a touch of sadness, 

Yet it is not sad ; 
It hath tones of clearest gladness, 

Yet it is not glad ; 
A dim, sweet twilight voice it is 

Where to-day's accustomed blue 
Is over-grayed with memories. 
With starry feelings quivered through. 

Thy voice is like a fountain 
Leaping up in sunshine bright, 

And I never weary counting 
Its clear droppings, lone and single. 
Or when in one full ^sh they mingle, 

Shooting in melodious light. 

Thine is music such as yields 
Feelings of old brooks and fields, 
And, aroimd this pent-up room. 
Sheds a woodland, free |)erfume ; 

O, thus forever sing to me ! 
O, thus forever ! 
The green, bright grass of childhood 
bring to me, 
Flowing like an emerald river. 
And the bright blue skies above ! 
0, sing them back, as fresh .is ever. 
Into the bosom of my love, — 
The sunshine and the merriment, 
The unsought, evergi^en content, 

Of that never cold time. 
The joy, that, like a clear breeze, went 

Through and through the old time ! 

Peace sits within thine eyes. 

With white hands crossed in joyful rest. 



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THE MOON. — SONG. 



While, through thy lips and face, arise 
The melodies from out thy breast ; 

She sits and sings, 

With folded wings 

And white arms crost, 
" Weep not for bygone things, 

They are not lost : 
The beaaty which the summer time 
O'er thine opening spirit shed, 
The forest oracles sublime 
That filled thy soul with joyous dread, 
The scent of every smallest flower 
That mmle thy heart sweet for an 

hour, — 
Yea, every holy influence. 
Flowing to thee, tliou knewest not 

whence, 
In thine eyes to-day is seen, 
Fresh as it hath ever been ; 
Promptings of Nature, beckonings 

sweet, 
"Whatever led thy childish feet, 
Still will linger unawares 
The guiders of thy silver hairs ; 
Every look and every word 
Which thou givest forth to-day. 
Tell of the singing of the bird 
Whose music stilled thy boyish play.'* 

Thy voice is like a fountain, 
Twinkling up in sharp starlight. 
When the moon behind the mountain 
Dims the low East with faintest white, 
Ever darkling, 
Ever sparkling. 
We know not if 't is dark or bright ; 

Hut, when the great moon hath rolled 
round, 
And, sudden -slow, its solemn power 

Grows from l)ehind its black, clear-edged 

* bound. 

No spot of dark the fountain keepeth. 
But, swift as opening eyelids, leapeth 
Into a waving silver flower. 



THE MOOK. 

Mt soul was like the sea. 

Before the moon was made. 
Moaning in vague immensity, 

Of its own strength afraid, 

Unrestful and unstaid. 
Through every rift it foamed in vain, 

About its earthly prison. 
Seeking some unknown thing in paiu, 
And sinking restless back again. 



For yet no moon had risen : 
Its only voice a vast dumb moan. 

Of utterless anguish speaking, 
It lay unhope.'uUy alone. 

And Uvea but in an aimless seeking. 

So was my soul ; but when 't was full 

Of unrest to o'erloading, 
A voice of something beautiful 

Whispered a dim foreboding. 
And yet so soft, so sweet, so low, 
It had not more of ioy than woe ; 
And, as the sea doth oft lie still, 

Making its waters meet. 
As if by an unconscious will. 

For the moon's silver feet, 
So lay my soul within mine eyes 
When thou, itsguardian moon, didst rise. 

And now, howe'er its waves above 
May toss and seem uneaseful, 

One strong, eternal law of Love, 
With guidance sure and peaceful. 

As calm and natural as breath, 

Moves its great deeps through life and 
death. 



REMEMBERED MUBIC. 
A FRAGMENT. 

Thtck-rushino, like an ocean vast 
Of bisons the far prairie shaking. 
The notes crowd heavily and fast 
As surfs, one plunging while the last 
Draws sea waixi from its foamy breaking. 

Or in low murmurs they began. 
Rising and rising momently, 

As o'er a harp iEoJian 

A fitful breeze, until they ran 
Up to a sudden ecstasy. 

And then, like minute-drops of rain 

Ringing in water silverly, 
They lingering dropped and dropped 

again, 
Till it was almost like a pain 

To listen when the next w^ould be. 



BONG. 
TO M. L. 

A LILY thou wast when I saw thee first, 
A lily-bud not opened quite, 
That hourly grew more pure and 
white. 



n 



10 



EABLIER POEICS. 



By morning, and noontide, and evening 
nursed : 
In all of natare thou hadst thy share ; 
Thou wast waited on 
By the wind and sun ; 
The rain and the dew for thee took care ; 
It seemed thou never couldst be more 
fair. 

A lily thou vrast when I saw thee first, 
A lily- bud ; but O, how strange. 
How full of wonder was the chance, 
When, ripe with all sweetness, thy mU 
bloom burst ! 
How did the tears to my glad eyes start. 
When the wouian-flower 
Reached its blossoming hour. 
And I saw the warm deeps of thy 
golden heart ! 

Glad death may pluck thee, but never 
before 
The gold dust of thy bloom divine 
Hath dropped from thy heart into 
mine. 
To quicken its faint germs of heavenly 
lore ; 
For no breeze comes nigh thee but car- 
ries away 
Some impulses bright 
Of fragrance and light, 
Which fall upon souls that are lone 

and astray. 
To plant fruitful hopes of the flower of 
day. 

ALLEORA. 

I WOULD more natures were like thine, 
That never casts a glance before, — 

Thou Hebe, who thy neart's bright wine 
So lavishly to all dost pour. 

That we who drink forget to pine, 
And can but dream of bliss in store. 

Thou canst not see a shade in life ; 

With sunward instinct thou dost rise, 
And, leaving clouds below at strife, 

Gazest undazzled at the skies. 
With ajl their blazing splendors rife, 

A songful lark with eagle's eyes. 

Thou wast some foundling whom the 
Hours 
Nursed, laughing, with the milk of 
Mirth ; 
Some influence more gay than ours 
Hath ruled thy nature from its birth, 



As if thy natal fftars were flowers 
That shook their seeds round thee on 
earth. 

And thou, to lull thine infant rest. 
Wast cradled like an Indian child ; 

All pleasant winds from south and west 
yi ith lullabies thine ears beguiled, 

Rocking thee in thine oriole's nest. 
Till Nature looked at thee and smiled. 

Thine every fancy seems to borrow 
A sunlight from thy childish years. 

Making a golden cloud of sorrow, 
A hope-lit rainbow out of tears, — 

Thy heart is certain of to-morrow, 
Though yond to-day it never peers. 

I would more natures were like thine. 

So innocently wild and free. 
Whose sad thoughts, even, leap and shine. 

Like sunny wavelets in the sea. 
Making us mindless of the brine. 

In gazing on the brilliancy. 



THE F0T7NTAIK. 

Into the sunshine, » 

Full of the light, 
Leaping and flashing 

From morn till night ! 

Into the moonlight. 
Whiter than snow. 

Waving so flower-like 
When the winds blow ! 

Into the starlight 

Rushing in spray, 
Happy at midnight, 

Happy by day ! 

Ever in motion, 

Blithesome and cheery. 
Still climbing heavenward. 

Never aweary : — 

Glad of all westhers, 
Still seeming best, 

Upward or downwani. 
Motion thy rest ; — 

Full of a nature 
Nothing can tame, 

Changed every moment, 
£ver the same ; — 



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THE FATHERLAin). 



13 



TVliich every age demands to do it 
right. 
Proprieties our silken "bards environ ; 
lie who would be the tongue of this 
wide laud 
Mnst string his harp with chords of 
sturdy iron 
And strike it with a toil-imhrowued 
liand ; 
One who hath dwelt with Nature well 
attendeil. 
Who hath learnt wisdom from her 
mystic books, 
Whose soul with all her countless lives 
hath blended. 
So that all beauty awes us in his looks ; 
Who not with body's waste his soul hath 
pampered. 
Who as the clear northwestern wind is 
free. 
Who walks with Form*s observances un- 
hampered. 
And follows the One Will obediently ; 
Whose eyes, like windows on a breezy 
summit, 
Control a lovely prospect every way ; 
Who doth not sound God's sea with 
earthly plummet, 
And find a bottom still of worthless 
clay; 
Who heeds not how the lower gusts are 
working. 
Knowing that one sure wind blows on 
above, 
And sees, beneath the foulest faces lurk- 
ing. 
One God-built shrine of reverence and 
love ; 
Who sees all stars that wheel their shin- 
ing inarches 
Around the centre fixed of Destiny, 
Where the encircling soul serene o'er- 
arches 
The moving globe of being like a sky ; 
Who feels that God and Heaven's great 
deeps are nearer 
Him to whose heart his fellow-man is 
nigh. 
Who doth not hold his soul's own free- 
dom dearer 
Than that of all his brethren, low or 
high ; 
Who to the Bight can feel himself the 
truer 
For being gently patient with the 
wrong, 
Who sees a brother in the evil-doer, 



And finds in Love the heart's-blood of 
his song ; — 
This, this is he for whom the world is 
waiting 
To sing the beatings of its mighty 
heairt. 
Too long hath it been patient with the 
gratine 
Of scrannel-pipes, and heard it mis- 
named Art. 
To him the smiling soul of man shall 
listen, 
Laying awhile its crown of thonis 
aside, 
And once again in every eye shall glisten 

The glory of a nature satisfied. 
His verse shall have a great command- 
ing motion. 
Heaving and swelling with a melody 
Learnt of the sky, the river, aud the 
ocean, 
And all the pure, majestic things that 
be. 
Awake, then, thou ! we pine for thy 
great presence 
To make us feel the soul once mora 
sublime. 
We are of far too infinite an essence 
To rest contented with the lies of 
Time. 
Speak out ! and lo ! a hush of deepest 
wonder 
Shall sink o'er all this many-voiceil 
scene. 
As when a sudden burst of rattling 
thunder 
Shatters the blueness of a sky serene. 



THE FATHERLAND. 

WiAre is the true man's fatherland ? 

Is it where he by chance is bom ? 

Doth not the yearning spirit scorn 
In such scant borders to be spanned ? 
yes ! his fatherland must be 
As the blue heaven wide and free ! 

Is it alone where freedom is. 

Where God is God and man is man ? 

Doth he not claim a broader s[mn 
For the soul's love of home than this ? 
yes I his fatheriand must be 
As the blue heaven wide and free I 

Where'er a human heart doth wear 
Joy's myrtle-wreath or sorrow's gyves, 



14 



EABLIER POEMS. 



Where'er a haman spirit strives 
After a life more true and fair, 
There is the tnie man's birthplace grand, 
His is a world-wide fatherland I 

Where'er a single slave doth pine, 
Where'er one man may help an- 
other, — 
Thank God for snch a birthright, 
brother, — 
That spot of earth is thine and mine I 
There is the true man's birthplace grand, 
His is a world-wide fatherland 1 



THE FORLORN. 

The night is dark, the stinging sleet, 
Swept b^ the bitter gusts of air, 

Drives whistling down the lonely street. 
And stiffens on the pavement bare. 

The street-lamps Hare and stniffgle dim 
Through the white sleet-clouds as they 
pass. 

Or, governed by a boisterous whim. 
Drop down and rattle on the glass. 

One poor, heart-broken, outcast girl 
Faces the east-wind's searching flaws. 

And, as about her heart they whirl. 
Her tattered cloak more tightly draws. 

The flat brick walls look cold and bleak. 
Her bare feet to the sidewalk freeze ; 

Yet dares she not a shelter seek, 
Though faint with hunger and disease. 

The sharp storm cuts her forehead bare. 
And, piercing through her garments 
thin. 

Beats on her shrunken breast, and there 
Makes colder the cold heart within. 

She lingers where a ruddy glow 
Streams outward through an open 
shutter, 
Adding more bitterness to woe, 

; More loneness to desertion utter. 

I 

\ One half the cold she had not felt 
; Until she saw this gush of light 
i JSpread warmly forth, and seem to melt 
its slow way through the deadening 
' night. 

She hears a woman's voice within. 
Singing sweet words her childhood 
knew, 



And years of mixery and sin 
Furl ofl*, and leave her heaven blue. 

Her freezing heart, like one who sinks 
Outwearied in the di'ifting snow, 

Drowses to deadly sleep and thinks 
Ko longer of its hopeless woe : 

Old flelds, and clear blue summer days. 
Old meadows, green with grass and 
trees. 
That shimmer through the trembling 
haze 
And whiten in the western breeze, — 

Old faces, — all the friendly past 
Rises within her heart again. 

And sunshine from her childhood cast 
Makes summer of the icy rain. 

£nhaloed by a mild, warm glow, 

From all humanity apart. 
She hears old footsteps wandering slow 

Through the lone chambers of the 
heart. 

Outside the porch before the door, 
Her cheek upon the cold, hard stone. 

She lies, no longer foul and poor. 
No longer dreary and alone. 

Next morning something heavily 
Against the opening door did weigh. 

And there, from sin and sorrow free, 
A woman on the threshold lay. 

A smile upon the wan lips told 
That she had found a calm release. 

And that, from out the want and cold, 
The song had borne her soul in peace. 

For, whom the heart of man shuts out. 
Sometimes the heart of God takes in. 

And fences them all round about 
With silence mid the world's loud din ; 

And one of his great charities 
Is Music, and it doth not scorn 

To close the lids upon the eyes 
Of the polluted and forlorn ; 

Far was she from her childhood's home, 
Farther in guilt had wandered thence. 

Yet thither it had bid her come 
To die in maiden innocence. 



I 



L 



J 



THE rH;W YORK 

PUBLIC LIBRARY 



I 






" 



MIDNIGHT. — THE HERITAGE. 



15 



UDNIGHT. 

The moon shines white and silent 
On the mist, which, like a tide 

Of some enchanted ocean, 

0*er the wide marsh doth glide, 

Spreading its ghost-like billows 
Silently far and wide. 

A Tague and starry magic 
Mf3ces all things mysteries, 

And hires the earth's dumb spirit 
Up to the longing skies, — 

I seem to hear cQm whispers, 
And tremulous replies. 

The fireflies o'er the meadow 

In palses come and go ; 
The elm-trees' heavy shadow 

Weighs on the grass below ; 
And famtly from the distance 

The dreaming cock doth crow. 

All things look strange and mystic, 

The very bushes swell 
And take wild shapes and motions. 

As if beneath a spell, — 
They seem not the same lilacs 

From childhood known so welL 

The snow of deepest silence 
O'er everything doth fall. 

So beautiful and quiet, 
. And yet so like a pall, — 

As if all life were ended, 
And rest were come to alL 

O wild and wondrous midnight, 
There is a might in thee 

To make the charmerl body 
Almost like spirit be, 

And give it some faint glimpses 
Of immortaUty ! 



A FBAYEB. 

God ! do not let my loved one die. 
But rather wait until the time 

That I am grown in purity 

Enon^h to enter thy pure clime. 

Then take me, I will gladly go, 

So that my love remain below ! 

O, let her stay ! She is by birth 
What I through death must learn to 
be; 



We need her more on our poor earth 
Than thou canst need in heaven with 
thee: 
She hath her wings already, I 
Must burst this earth-shell ere I fly. 

Then, God, take me I We shall be near, 
More near than ever, each to each: 

Her angel ears Vill find more clear 
My heavenly than my earthly speech ; 

And still , as I draw nigh to thee. 

Her soul and mine shall closer be. 



THE HERrrAGE. 

The rich man's son inherits lands, 
And piles of brick, and stone, and 
gold. 

And he inherits soft white hands. 
And tender flesh that fears the cold, 
Nor dares to wear a garment old ; 

A heritage, it seems to me, 

One scarce would wish to hold in fee. 

The rich man's son inherits cares ; 

The bank may break, the factory bum, 
A breath may burst his bubble\sharea, 

And soft white hands could hardly 
earn 

A living that would serve his turn ; 
A heritage, it seems to rae, 
One scarce would wish to hold in fee. 

The rich man's son inherits wants, 
His stomach craves for dainty fare ; 

With sated heart, he hears the pants 
Of toiling hinds with brown arms bare. 
And wearies in his easy-chair ; 

A heritage, it seems to me, 

One scarce would wish to hold in fee. 

What doth the poor man's son inherit ? 
Stout muscles and a sinewy heart, 

A hardy frame, a hardier spirit ; 
King of two hands, he does his part 
In every useful toil and art ; 

A heritage, it seems to me, 

A king might wish to hold in fee. 

What doth the p'^or man's son inherit ? 
Wishes o'erjoyed with humble things, 

A rank adjudged by toil- won merit. 
Content that from employment springs, 
A heart that in his labor sings ; 

A heritage, it seems to me, 

A king might wish to hold in fee. 



16 



EARLIER POEMS. 



What doth the poor man's son inherit f 
A patience learned of being poor, 

Courage, if sorrow come, to bear it, 
A fellow-feeling that is sure 
To make the outcast bless his door ; 

A heritage, it seems to me, 

A king might wish to hold in fee. 

rich man's son ! there is a toil 
That with all others level stands ; 

Large charity doth never soil. 

But only whiten, soft white hands, — 
This is the best crop from thy lands ; 

A heritage, it seems to be, 

Worth being rich to hold in fee. 

[ O poor man's son ! scorn not thy state ; 
There is worse weariness than thine. 
In merely being rich and great ; 
Toil only gives the soul to shine, 
And makes rest fragrant and be- 
nign ; 
A heritage, it seems to me, 
Worth Uung poor to hold in fee. 

Both, heirs to some six feet of sod. 
Are equal in the earth at last ; 

Both, children of the same dear God, 
Prove title to your heirship vast 
By record of a well-filled past ; 

A heritage, it seems to me. 

Well worth a life to hold in fee. 



THE ROBE: A BALLAD. 

I. 

In his tower sat the ^t 

Gazing on the roaring sea, 
•*Take this rose," he sighed, "and throw 
it 

Where there 's none that loveth me. 
On the rock the billow bursteth 

And sinks back into the seas, 
But in vain my spirit thirsteth 

So to burst ana be at ease. 
Take, sea ! the tender bloa<K>m 

That hath lain against my breast ; 
On thy black and angry bosom 

It will find a surer rest. 
Life is vain, and love is hollow, 

Ugly death stands there behind, 
Hate and scorn and hunger follow 

Him that toileth for his kind." 
Forth into the night he hurled it. 

And with bitter smile did mark 
How the surly tempest whirled it 

Swift into the hungry dark. 



Foam and spray drive back to leeward. 
And the gale, with dreary moan. 

Drifts the helpless blossom seaward. 
Through the breakers all alone. 

II. 

Stands, a maiden, on the morrow. 

Musing by the wave*beat strand, 
Half in hope and half in sorrow, 

Tracing words upon the sand: 
" Shall I ever then behold him 

Who hath been my life so long, — 
Ever to this sick heart fold him, — 

Be the spirit of his song ? 
Touch not, sea, the blessed letters 

I have traced upon thy shore. 
Spare his name whose spirit fetters 

Mine with love forevermore ! " 
Swells the tide and overflows it, 

But, with omen ]iure and meet. 
Brings a little rose, and throws it 

Humbly at the maiden's feet. 
Full of bliss she takes the token. 

And, uj)on her snowy breast. 
Soothes the ruffled petals broken 

With the ocean's fierce unrest. 
" Love is thine, heart ! and surely 

Peace sliall also be thine own. 
For the heart that tnisteth purely 

Never long can pine alone." 

III. 

In his tower sits the poet, 

Blisses new and strange to him 
Fill his heart and oveiHow it 

With a wonder sweet and dim. 
Up the beach the ocean slideth 

With a whisper o£ delight. 
And the moon in silence glideth 

Through the peaceful blue of night. 
Ripjnling o'er the poet's shoulder 

Flows a maiden s golden hair, 
Msiden lii>s, with love grown bolder. 

Kiss his moon-lit forniead bare. 
" Life is joy, and love is jwwer, 

Death all fetters doth unbind. 
Strength and wisdom only flower 

When we toil for all our kind. 
Hope is truth, — the future giveth 

More than present takes away, 
And the soul forever liveth 

Nearer God fi-om day to day." 
Not a word the maiden ^uttered. 

Fullest hearts are slow to speak. 
But a withered rose-leaf fluttered 

Dow^n upon the poet's cheek. 



SONG. — ROSALIKE. 



17 



I 



BONG. 

Violet ! sweet violet ! 
Thine eyes are full of tears ; 
Are they wet 
Even yet 
With the thought of other years f 
Or with gladness are they full, 
For the night so heautiful. 
And longing for those far-off spheres f 

Loved one of my youth thou wast, 
Of my merry youth. 
And I see, 
Tearfullv, 
All the fair and sunny past. 
All its openness aiid truth, 
£ver fr&ih and green in thee 
Aa the moss is in the sea. 

Thy little heart, that hath with love 
Grown coloretl like the sky above, 
On which thou lookest ever, — 
Can it know 
All the woe 
Of hope for what retumeth never. 
All the sorrow and the longing 
To these hearts of ours belonging ? 

Out on it ! no foolish pining 

For the sky 

Dims thine eye, 
Or for the stars so calmlv shining ; 
Like thee let this soul or mine 
Take hue from that wherefor I long, 
Si^lf-stayed and high, serene and strong, 
Kot satisfied with hoping — but divine. 

Violet ! dear violet ! 

Thy blue eyes are only wet 
With joy and love of Him who sent thee. 
And for the fulfilling sense 
Of that glad obtniience 
Which made thee all that Nature meant 
thee ! 

ROSAUNK 

Thou look'dst on me all yesternight, 
Thine eyes were blue, thy hair was bright 
Aa when we murmured our troth-plight 
Beneath the thick stars, Rosaline ! 
Thy hair was bntided on thy head. 
As on the day we two were wed, 
liiue eyes scarce knew if thou wert dead, — 
But my shrunk heart knew, Rosaline i 

S 



The death-watch ticked behind the wall. 
The blackness rustled like a pall, 
The moaning wind did rise and fall 
Among the bleak pines, Rosaline ! 
My heart beat thickly in mine ears : 
The lids may shut out fleshly fears. 
But still the spirit sees and hears, — 
Its eyes ate Udless, Rosaline 1 

A wildness rushing suddenly, 

A knowing some ill shape is nigh, 

A wish for death, a fear to die, — 

Is not this vengeance, Rosaline f 

A loneliness that is not lone, 

A love c^uite withered up and gone, 

A strong soul trampled from its throne, — 

What wouldst thou further, Rosaline ? 

'T is drear such moonless nights as these. 
Strange sounds are out upon the breeze. 
And the leaves shiver in the trees, 
And then thou comest, Rosaline I 
I seem to hear the mourners go. 
With long black garments trailing slow, 
And plumes anodding to and fro. 
As once I heard them, Rosaline ! 

Thy shroud is all of snowy white, • 
And, in the middle of the night, 
Thou standest moveless and upright, 
Gazing u|K)n me, Rosaline ! 
There is no sorrow in thine eyes. 
But evermore that meek surprise, — 

God ! thy gentle spirit tries 
To deem me guiltless, Rosaline I 

Above thy grave the robin sings, 

And swarms of bright and happy things 

Flit all about with sunlit wings, — 

But I am cheerless, Rosaline I 

The violets on the hillock toss, 

The gravestone is o'ergrown with moss ; 

For nature feels not any loss, — 

But I am cheerless, Rosaline ! 

1 did not know when thou wast dead ; 
A blackbird whistling overhead 
Thrilled through my brain ; I would have 

fled, 
But dared not leave thee, Rosaline ! 
The sun rolled down, and very soon. 
Like a great fire, the awful moon 
Rose, stained with blood, and then a swoon 
Crept chilly o*er me, Rosaline I 

The stars came out ; and, one by one, 
£ach angel from his silver throne 






SONG. — SONNETS. 



19 



Bat the tnft of moss before him 
Opened while he waited yet, 

And, from out the roelc*8 hard bosom, 
Sprang a tender violet 

" God ! I thank thee," said the Prophet ; 

*' Hard of heart and blind was 1, 
Looking to the holy mountain 

For the gift of prophecy. 

"Still thou speakest with thy children 

Freely as in eld sublime ; 
Humbleness, and love, and patience. 

Still give empire over time. 

" Had I trusted in my nature, 
And had faith in lowly things. 

Thou thyself wouldst then have sought 
me. 
And set free my spirit's wings. 

" But I looked for signs and wonders. 
That o*er men should give me sway ; 

Thirsting to be more than mortal, 
I was even less than clay. 

"Ere I entered on my journey, 

As I girt my loins to start, 
Ran to me my little daughter, 

The belov^ of my heart ; — 



" In her hand she held a flower, 

Like to this as like may be, 
Which, beside my very threshold. 

She had plucked and brought to me.'* 

BONO. 

MOONLIGHT deep and tender, 

A year and more agone. 
Your mist of golden splendor 

Round my oetrothal shone ! 

O elm-leaves dark and dewy, 

The very same ye seem. 
The low wind trembles through ye, 

Ye murmur in my dream ! 

O river, dim with distance, 

Flow thus forever by, 
A part of my existence 

Within your heart doth lie 1 

O stars, ye saw our meeting, 

Two beings and one soul, 
Two hearts so madly beating 

To mingle and be whole ! 

O happy night, deliver 

Her kisses back to me. 
Or keep them all, and give her 

A blissful dream of me ! 



SONNETS. 



TO A. C. L. 

Thbouoh suffering and sorrow thou hast 

passed 
To show ns what a woman true may be : 
They have not taken sympathy from thee. 
Nor made thee any other than thou wast. 
Save as some tree, which, in a sudden 

blast, 
Sheddeth those blossoms, that are weakly 

grown, 
UiK)n the air, but keepeth every one 
Whose strength gives warrant of good 

fniit at last : 
So thou hast shed some blooms of gay- 

ety. 
Bat never one of steadfast cheerfulness ; 



Nor hath thy knowledge of adversity 
Robbed thee of any faith in happiness, 
But rather cleared thine inner eyes to see 
How many simple ways there are to bless. 



n. 

What were I, Love, if I were stripped of 

thee. 
If thine eyes shut me out whereby I live, 
Thou, who unto my calmer soul dost ^ve 
Knowledge, and Truth, and holy Mys« 

tery, 
Wherein Truth mainly lies for those who 

see 
Beyond the earthly and the fugitive. 
Who in the grandeur of the soul believe, 
And only in the Intinite are free 2 



20 



EABLIER POEMS. 



'Without thee I were naked, bleak, and 

bare 
Ab yon dead cedar on the sea-clifTs brow ; 
And Nature's teachingB, which come to 

me now, 
Common and beautiful as light and air, 
Would be as fruitless as a sti'eam which 

still 
Slips through the wheel of some old 

ruined mill. 

UL 

I WOULD not have this perfect love of 

ours 
Grow from a single root, a single stem, 
Bearing no goodly fruit, but only flowers 
That idly hide life's ii*on diadem : 
It should grow alway like that Eastern 

tree 
Whose limbs take root and spread forth 

constantly ; 
That love for one, from which there doth 

not spring 

W^ide love for all, is but a worthless thing. 
Not in another world, as poets prate, 
Dwell we apart above the tide of things. 
High floating o'er earth's clouds on faery 

wings ; 
But our pure love doth ever elevate 
Into a holy bond of l)rotherhoo<l 
All earthly things, making them pure 

and good. 

IV. 

" For this true nobleness I seek in vain, 
In woman and in man I find it not ; 
I almost weary of my earthly lot, 
My life-spring are dried up with burn- 
ing pam." 
Thou find'st it not ? I pray thee look 

again, 
Look irnoard through the depths of thino 

own soul. 
How is it with thee ? Art thou sound 

and whole ? 
Doth naiTow search show thee no earthly 

stain ? 
Be noblk ! and the nobleness that lies 
In other men, sleeping, but never dead, 
Will rise in majesty to meet thine own ; 
Then wilt thou see it gleam in many eyes, 
Then will pure light around thy path be 

shed, 
And thou wilt nevermore be sad and 

lone. 



V. 



TO THE SPIRIT OF KEATS. 

Great soul, thou sittest with me in my 

room. 
Uplifting me with thy vast, quiet eyes, 
On whose full orbs, with kindlv lustre, lies 
The twilight warmth of ruddy ember- 
gloom : 
Thy clear, strong tones will oft bring sud- 
den bloom 
Of hope secure, to him who lonely cries. 
Wrestling with the young poet's agonies. 
Neglect and scorn, which seem a certain 

doom : 
Yes! the few words which, like great 

thunder-drops, 
Thy laige heart down to eaith shook 

doubtfully. 
Thrilled by the 'inward lightning of its 

might, 
Serene and pure, like gushing joy of light. 
Shall track the etenial chords of Destiuj^ 
After the moon-led pulse of ocean stoats. 

VI. 

Great Truths are portions of the soul of 

man ; 
Great souls are portions of Eternity ; 
Each drop of blood that e'er through true 

heart ran 
With lofty message, ran for thee and me ; 
For God's law, since the stariy song began. 
Hath been, and still forevemiore must lie. 
That every deed which shall outlast Time's 

si>an 
Must goad the soul to be erect and free ; 
Slave is no woixl of deathless lineage 

sprung, — 
Too many noble souls have thought and 

died. 
Too many mighty poets lived and sung. 
And our good Saxon, from lips purilied 
With martyr- fire, throughout the world 

hath rung 
Too long to have God's holy cause denied. 

vn. 

I ASK not for those thoughts, that sudden 

leap 
From being's sea, like the isle-seeming 

Kraken, 
With whose great rise the ocean all is 

shaken 



SONNETS. 



21 



And a heart-tremble quivers throagh the 
deen; 

Give me that growth which some per- 
chance deem sleep, 

Wherewith the steadfast coral-stems up- 
rise. 

Which, by the toil of gathering energies, 

Tbeir upward way into clear sunshine 
keep. 

Until, by Heaven's sweetest influences, 

Slowly and slowly spreads a speck of 
green 

Into a pleasant island in the seas, 

Where, mid tall palms, the cane-roofed 
home is seen, 

And wearied men shall sit at sunset's 
hour, 

Hearing the leaves and loving God's dear 
power. 

vm. 

TO M. W., ON HER BIRTHDAY. 

Maiden, when such a soul as thine is 

bom. 
The morning-stars their ancient music 

make. 
And, joyful, once again their song awake. 
Long silent now with melancholy scorn ; 
And thou, not mindless of so blest a 

mom. 
By no least deed its harmony shalt break. 
But shalt to that high chime thy foot- 
steps take. 
Through life's most darksome passes un- 

forlom ; 
Therefore from thy pure faith thou shalt 

not fall, 
Therefore shalt thou be ever fair and 

free. 
And in thine every motion musical 
As summer air, majestic as the sea,- 
A mysteiT to those who creep and crawl 
Through Time, and part it from Eternity. 



Mt Love, 1 have no fear that thou 
shouldst die ; 

Albeit 1 ask no fairer life than this. 

Whose numbering-clock is still thy gen- 
tle kiss. 

While Time and Peace with hands en- 
locked fly, — 

Tet care I not where in Eternity 



We live and love, well knowing that 

there is 
No backward step for those who feel the 

bliss 
Of Faith as their most lofty yearnings 

high : 
Love hath so purifled my being's core, 
Meseems I scarcely should be startled, 

even, 
To And, some mora, that thou hadst gone 

before ; 
Since, with thy love, thb knowledge too 

was given. 
Which each calm day doth strengthen 

more and more, 
That they who love are but one step from 

Heaven. 



I CANNOT think that thou shouldst pass 

away. 
Whose life to mine is an eternal law, 
A piece of nature that can have no flaw, 
A new and certain sunrise every day ; 
But, if thou art to be another ray 
About the Sun of Life, and art to live 
Free from all of thee that was fugitive, 
The debt of Love 1 will moit; fully pay. 
Not downcast with the thought uf thee 

so high. 
But rather raised to be a nobler man, 
And more divine in my humanity, 
As knowing that the waiting eyes which 

scan 
My life are lighted by a purer being. 
And ask meek, calm-browed deeds, with 

it agreeing. 



There never yet was flower fair in vain. 
Let classic poets rhyme it as they will ; 
The seasons toil that it may blow again, 
Andsummer's heart doth feel its every ill ; 
Nor is a true soul ever born for naught ; 
Wherever any such hath lived and (lip<l. 
There hath been something for true free- 
dom wrought. 
Some bulwark levelled on the evil side : 
Toil on, then. Greatness ! thou art in the 

right, 
However narrow souls may call thee 

wrong ; 
Be as thou wouldst be in thine own clear 
sight, 



80KNETS. 



23 



\ 



And over it with fuller glory flows 
The sky-like spirit of God ; a hope began 
In doabt and darkness *neath a fairer sun 
Cometh to fruitage, if it be of Truth ; 
And to the law of meekness, faith, and 

rath, 
By inward S3rmpathy, shall all be won : 
TLis thou shouldst know, who, from the 

painted feature 
Of shifting Fashion, couldst thy brethren 

turn 
Unto the love of ever-youthful Nature^ 
And of a beauty fadeless and eteme ; 
And always 't is the saddest sight to see 
An old man faithless in Humanity. 



xvn. 

THE SAME GONTINTJED. 

A POET cannot strive for despotism ; 
His harp falls shattered ; for it still most 

be 
The instinct of great spirits to be free, 
And the sworn foes of cunning barba- 
rism: 
He who has deepest searched the wide 

abysm 
Of that life-giving Soul which men call 

fate, 
Knows that to put more faith in lies and 

hate 
Than truth and love is the true atheism : 
Upward the soul forever turns her eyes : 
The next hour always shames the hour 

before; 
One beauty, at its highest, prophesies 
That by whose side it shall seem mean 

and poor 
Ko Godlike thing knows aught of less 

and less. 
Bat widens to the boundless Perfectness. 



xvnL 

THE SAME CONTINUED. 

Thzbeforb think not the Past is wise 

alone. 
For Yesterday knows nothing of the Best, 
And thou shalt love it only as the nest 
Whence glory-winged things to Heaven 

have flown : 
To the great Soul alone are all things 

known ; 
Present and future are to her as past, 



While she in glorious madness doth fore- 
cast 
That perfect bud, which seems a flower 

full-blown 
To each new Prophet, and yet always opes 
Fuller and fuller with each day tmi. houi*. 
Heartening the soul with odor of freah 

hopes. 
And longings high, and gushings of wide 

power, 
Yet never is or shall be fully blo^i'n 
Save in the forethought of the Eternal 
One. 



THE SAME CONTINUED. 

Far 'yond this narrow parapet of Time, 
With eyes uplift, the poet's soul should 

look 
Into the Endless Promise, nor should 

brook 
One prving doubt to shake his faith sub- 
lime ; 
To him the earth is ever in her prime 
And dewiness of morning ; he can see 
Grood lying hid, from all eternity, 
Within the teeming womb of sin and 

crime; 
Hissoul should not be cramped by any bar. 
His nobleness should be so Godlike high, 
That his least deed is perfect as a star, 
His common look majestic as the sky, 
And all o'erflooded with a light from far, 
Undimmed by clouds of weak mortality. 



TO M. 0. 8. 

Mart, since first I knew thee, to this 

hour. 
My love hath deepened, with my wiser 

sense 
Of what in Woman is to reverence ; 
Thy clear heart, fresh as e'er was forest - 

flower. 
Still opens more to me its beauteous 

dower ; — 
But let praise hush, — Love asks no evi- 
dence 
To prove itself well-placed ; we know not 

whence 
It gleans the straws that thatch its humble 

bower : 
We can but say we found it in the heart, 



I 



24 



EABUEB POEMS. 



Spring of all sweetest thoughts, arch foe 

of blame, 
Sower of flowers in the dusty mart, 
Pure vestal of the poet's holy flame, — 
This is enough, aud we have done our 

part 
If we but keep it spotless as it came. 



Ofr love is not a fading, earthly flower : 
Its winged seed dropped dowu from 

Paradise, 
And, nursed by day and night, by sun 

and shower, 
Doth momently to fresher beauty rise : 
To us the leafless autumn is not bare. 
Nor winter's rattling boughs lack lusty 

green. 
Our summer hearts make summer's ful- 
ness, where 
No leaf, or bud, or blossom may be seen : 
For nature's life in love's deep life doth 

lie. 
Love, — whose forgetfulness is beauty's 

death. 
Whose mystic key these cells of Thou 

and I 
Into the infinite freedom openeth. 
And makes the body's dark and narrow 

grate 
The wind-flung leaves of Heaven's pal- 
ace-gate. 

xzn. 

IN AS8ENCE. 

These m^i^d, Tinntry days I scarce 

coula bear. 
Did I not know, that, in the early spring, 
AVhen wild March winds upon their 

errands sing, 
Thou wouldst return, bursting on this 

still air, 
Like those same winds, when, startled 

from their lair, 
They hunt up violets, and free swift 

brooks 
From icy cares, even as thy clear looks 
Bid my lieart bloom, and sing, and break 

all cai*e : 
When drons with welcome rain the 

April dav, 
My flowers shall find their April in thine 

eyes. 



Save there the rain in dreamy douda 

doth stay. 
As loath to fall out of those happy skies ; 
Yet sure, my love, thou art most like to 

May, 
That conies with steady sun when April 

dies. 

ymrr. 

WENDELL PHILLirS. 

He stood uiK>n the world's broad 

threshold ; wide 
The din of battle and of slaughter rose ; 
He saw God stand upon the weaker side. 
That sank in seeming loss Ix^fore its foes : 
Many there were who made great haste 

and sold 
Unto the cunning enemy their swords. 
He scorned their gifts of fame, and 

power, and gold. 
And, underneath &eir soft and flowery 

words. 
Heard the cold serpent hiss ; therefore 

he went 
And humbly joined him to the weaker 

part. 
Fanatic named, and fool, yet well con- 
tent 
So he could be the nearer to God's heart. 
And feel its solemn pulses sending blood 
Through all the wide-spi-ead veins of 

endless good. 



xxrv. 

THE STREET. 

Thet pass me by like shadows, crowds 

on crowds, 
Dim gho8t<% of men, that hover to and fro. 
Hugging their bodies round them like 

thin shrouds 
Wherein their souls were buried long ago : 
They trampled on their youth, and faith, 

and love. 
They oast their hope of human -kind aixTiv, 
With Heaven's clear messages they madly 

strove, 
Andconquei'ed, — and their spirits turned 

to clay : 
Lo ! how they wander round the world, 

their grave, 
Wliose ever-gaping maw by such is fed, 
Gibl>ering at living men, and idly rave, 
"We, only, truly live, but ye are dead.*' 



■■•i- 



~^'t^- 






: • < » ' 



_ -J 



I 



SONKETS. 



25 



Alas ! poor fools, the anointed eye may 

trace 
A dead soul's epitaph in every face ! 



I ORiEvz not that ripe Knowledge takes 

aw&y 
The charm that Nature to my childhood 

wore, 
For, with that insight, cometh, day by 

day, 
A greater bliss than wonder was before ; 
The real doth not clip the poet's wings, — 
To win the secret of a weed's plain heart 
Reveals some clew to spiritual things. 
And stumbling guess becomes firm-footed 

art : 
Flowers are not flowers unto the poet's 

eyes. 
Their beauty thrills him by an inward 

sense; 
He knows that outward seemings are but 

lies. 
Or, at the most, but earthly shadows, 

whence 
The soul that looks within for tnith may 

guess 
The presence of some wondrous heaven- 

liness. 



XXVI. 

TO J. R. 0IDDIH08. 

GiDDiNOS, far rougher names than thine 

have ^rown 
Smoother than honey on the lips of men ; 
And thou shalt aye be honorably known, 
As one who bravely used his tongue aud 

pen. 
As best befits a freeman, — even for 

those 
To whom our Law's unblushing front 

denies 
A right to plead against the lifelong 

woes 
Which are the Negro's glimpse of Free- 
dom's skies : 
Fear nothing, and hope all things, as 

the Right 
Alone may do securely ; every hour 
T4ie thrones of Ignorance and ancient 

Night 
Lose somewhat of their loi^-usurped 

power. 



I 

And Freedom's lightest word can make . 

them shiver 
With a base dread that clings to them ! 

forever. 



I THOUGHT our love at full, but I did err ; 
Joy's wreath drooped o'er mine eyes ; I 

could not see 
That sorrow in our happy world must be 
Love's dee|)est spokesman and inter* 

preter : 
But, as a mother feels her child first stir 
Under her heart, so felt 1 instantly 
Deep in my soul another bond to thee 
Thrul with that life we saw depart from 

her; 
mother of our angel child ! twice dear ! 
Death knits as well as parts, aud still, 

I wis, 
Her tender radiance shall infold us here. 
Even as the light, borne up by inwai'd 

bliss. 
Threads the void glooms of space with- 
out a fear. 
To print on farthest stars her pitying kiss. 

L-ENVOL 

Whether my heart hath wiser grown 

or not. 
In these three years, since I to thee in- 
scribed. 
Mine own betrothed, the firstlings of my 

muse, — 
Poor windfalls of unripe experience, 
Young buds plucked hastily by childish 

hands 
Not patient to await more full-blown 

flowers, — 
At least it hath seen more of life and 

men. 
And pondered more, and grown a shade 

more sad ; 
Yet with no loss of hope or settled tnist 
In the benignness of that Providence 
Which shapes from out our elements 

awry 
The grace and order that we wonder at. 
The mystic harmony of right and wrong, 
Both working out His wisdom and our 

good: 
A trust, Beloved, chiefly learned of thee. 
Who hast that gift of patient tenderness. 
The instinctive wisdom of a woman's 

heart. 



26 



EABLIEB POEMS. 



They tell us that our land was made for 

song, 
With its huge rivers and sky-piercing 

peaks, 
Its sealike lakes and mighty cataracts, 
Its forests vast and hoar, and prairies 

wide, 
And mounds that tell of wondrous tribes 

extinct. 
But Poesy springs not from rocks and 

woods ; 
Her womb and cradle are the human 

heart. 
And she can find a nobler theme for song 
In the most loathsome man that blasts 

the sight 
Than in the broad expanse of sea and 

shore 
Between the frozen deserts of the poles. 
All nations have their message from on 

high, 
Each the messiah of some central thought. 
For the fulfilment and delight of Man : 
One has to teach that labor is divine ; 
Another Freedom ; and another Mind ; 
And all, that God is open-eyed and just, 
The happy centre and calm heart of all. 

Are, then, our woods, our mountains, 

and our streams, 
Needful to teach our poets how to sing? 
maiden rare, -far other thoughts were 

ours, 
When we have sat by ocean's foaming 

marge, 
And watched the waves leap roaring on 

the rocks, 
Than young Leander and his Hero had, 
Gazing from Sestos to the other shore. 
The moon looks down and ocean worships 

her. 
Stars rise and set, and seasons come and go 
Even as they did in Homer's elder time, 
But we behold them not with Grecian 

eyes: 
Then they were types of beauty and of 

strength, 
But now of freedom, uncon fined and pure, 
Subject alone to Order's higher law. 
What cares the Russian serf or Southern 

slave 
Though we should speak as man spake 

never yet 
Of gleaming Hudson's broad magnifi- 
cence. 
Or green Niagara's never-ending roar? 
Our country hath a gospel of her own 



To preach and practise before all the 

world, — 
The freedom and divinity of man. 
The glorious claims of human brother- 
hood, — 
Which to pay nobly, as a freeman should. 
Gains the sole wealth that will not fly 

away,— 
And the soul's fealty to none but God. 
These are realities, which make the 

shows 
Of outward Nature, be they ne'er so 

grand. 
Seem small, and worthless, and contempt- 
ible. 
These are the mountain-summits for our 

bards. 
Which stretch far upward into heaven 

itself, 
And give such wide-spread and exulting 

view 
Of hope, and faith, and onward destiny, 
That slirunk Parnassus to a molehill 

dwindles. 
Our new Atlantis, like a morning-star. 
Silvers the murk face of slow-yielding 

Night, 
The herald of a fuller truth than yet 
Hath gleamed upon the upraised face of 

Man 
Since the earth glittered in her stainless 

prime, — 
Of a more glorious sunrise than of old 
Drew wondrous melodies from Memnon 

huge. 
Yea, draws them still, though now he sit 

waist-deep 
In the ingulfing flood of wliirling sand. 
And looks across the wastes of endless 

gray, 
Sole wreck, where onoe his hundred-gated i 

Thebes j 

Pained with her mighty hum the calm, 

blue heaven : 
Shall the dull stone pay grateful orisons 
And we till noonday bar the splendor 

out. 
Lest it reproach and chide our sluggard 

heaits. 
Warm -nestled in the down of Prejudice, 
And be content, though clad with angel- 
wings, 
Close-clipped, to hop about from perch 

to pereh. 
In paltry cages of dead men's dead 

thoughts ? 
0, rather, like the skylark, soar and sing. 



A LEGEND OF BBITTAKT. 



27 



And let onr gashing songs befit the dawn 
And sunrise, and the yet unshaken dew 
Brimming the chalice of each full-blown 

hope, 
Whose blithe front turns to greet the 

growing day ! 
Never had poets such high call before, 
Never can poets hope for higher one. 
And, if they be but faithful to their trust. 
Earth will remember them with love and 

And O, far better, God will not forget. 
For he who settles Freedom's principles 
Writes the death-warrant of all tyranny ; 
Who speaks the truth stabs Falsehood to 

the heart, 
And his mere word makes despots tremble 

more 
Than ever Brutus with his dagger could. 
Wait for no hints from waterfalls or 

woods, 
Nor dream that tales of red men, brute 

and fien-e, 
Rt^pay the finding of this Western World, 
Or needed half the globe to give them 

birth: 
Spirit supreme of Freedom ! not for this 
Did great Columbus tame hU eagle soul 
To jostle with the daws that perch in 

courts ; 
Not for this, friendless, on an unknown 

sea. 
Coping with mad waves and more muti- 
nous spirits. 
Battled he with the dreadful ache at 

heart 
Which tempts, with devilish subtleties 

of doubt. 
The hermit of that loneliest solitude, 
The silent desert of a great New Thought ; 



Though loud Niagara were to-day struck 

dumb. 
Yet would this cataract of boiling life 
Rush plunging on and on to endless 

deeps, 
And utter thunder till the world shall 

cease, — 
A thunder worthy of the poet's song. 
And which alone cau fill it with true life. 
The high evangel to our country granted 
Could make apostles, yea, with tongues 

of fire, 
Of hearts half-darkened back again to 

clay ! 
T is the soul only that is national. 
And he who pays true loyalty to that 
Alone can claim the wreath of x>atriotisni. 

Beloved I if I wander far and oft 
From that which I believe, and feel, and 

know. 
Thou wilt foi^ve, not with a sorrowing 

heart, 
But with a strengthened hope of better 

things ; 
Knowing that I, though often blind and 

false 
To those 1 love, and 0, more false than 

all 
Unto myself, have been most true to thee, . 
And that whoso in one thing hath been 

true 
Can be as true in all. Therefore thy hope 
May yet not prove unfruitful, and thy love 
Meet, day by day, with less unworthy 

thanks. 
Whether, as now, we journey hand in 

hand. 
Or, parted in the body, yet are one 
In spirit and the love of holy things. 



i 



I 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



A LEGEND OF BRITTANY. 
PART FIRST. 



i I- 

Fair as a summer dream was Margaret, — 
Sach dream as in a poet's soul might 

start, 
posing of old loves while the moon doth 

set : 



Her hair was not more sunny than her 
heart. 
Though like a natural golden coro- 
net 

It circled her dear head with careless j 
art, ; 

Mocking the sunshine, that would fain 

have lent ' 



To its frank grace a richer ornament. \ 



28 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



II. 



His loved one*8 eyes could poet ever 
speak, 
So kind, so dewy, and so deep were 
hera, — 
But, while he strives, the choicest phrase, 
too weak, 
Their glad reflection in his spirit blurs ; 
As one uiay see a dream dissolve and 
break 
Out of his ffrasp when he to tell it stilus. 
Like that saa Dryad doomed no more to 

bless 
The mortal who revealed her loveliuess. 



III. 

She dwelt forever in a region bright, 
Peopleti with living fancies of her own. 

Where naught could come but visions of 
delight. 
Far, far aloof from earth's eternal moan : 

A summer cloud thrilled through with 
rosy light, 
Floating beneath the blue sky all alone. 

Her spirit wandered by itself, and won 

A golden edge from some unsetting sun. 

rv. 

The he^rt grows richer that its lot is 
poor, — 
God blesses want with larger sympa- 
thies, — 
Love enters gladliest at the humble door, 
And makes the cot a palace i^ith his 
eyes ; -- 
So Margaret's heart a softer beauty wore, 
And grew in gentleness and patience 
wise^ 
For she was but a simple herdsman's 

child, 
A lily chance-sown in the rugged wild. 

V. 

There was no beauty of the wood or field 
But she its fragrant bosom-secret knew, 
Nor any but to her would freely yield 
Some gmce that in her soul took root 
and grew : 
Nature to her glowed ever new-revealwl, 
All rosy-fresh with innocent morning 
dew, 
And looked into her heart with dim, sweet 

eyes 
That left it full of sylvan memories. 



VI. 



0, what a face was hers to brighten light, j 
And give back sunshine with an aoded 
glow. 
To wile each moment with a fresh de- 
light. 
And ))art of memory's best content- 
ment grow ! 
0, how her voice, as with an inmate s '■ 
right, I 

Into the strangest heart would welcome i 
go. , I 

And make it sweety and ready to become 
Of white and gracious thoughts the cho- 
sen home ! 

VII. 

None looked upon her but he straight- 
way thought 
Of all the greenest depths of country 
cheer, 
And into each one's heart was freshly 
brought 
What was to him the sweetest time of 
year. 
So was ner every look and motion fraught 
With out-of-door delights and forest 
lere ; 
Not the first violet on a woodland lea 
Seemed a more visible gift of Spring than 
she. 

VIII. 

Is love learned only out of poets* books ? 
Is there not somewhat in the dropping 
flood. 
And in the nunneries of silent nooks. 
And in the murmured longing of the 
wood. 
That could make Maigaret dream of love- 
lorn looks. 
And stir a thrilling mystery in her 
blood 
More trembly secret than Aurora's tear 
Shed in the bosom of an eglatere ? 

IX. 

Full many a sweet forewarning hath the 
mind. 
Full many a whispering of vague desire. 
Ere comes the jiature destined to unbind 
Its virgin zone, and all its deeps in- 
spire, — 
Low stirrings in the leaves, before the 
wind 
Wake all the green strings of the fof • 
est lyre, 



L. - 



A LEGEND OF BKITTANT. 



29 



Faint heatings in the calyx, ere the rose 
Its warm voluptuous breast doth all un- 
close. 



Long in its dim recesses pines the spirit, 

Wilderedand dark, despairingly alone ; 

Though many a shape of beauty wander 

near it, 

And many a wild and half-remembered 

tone 

Tremble from the divine abyss to cheer it, 

Yet still it knows that there is only one 

Before whom it can kneel and tribute 

bring, 
At once a happy yaasal and a king. 

XL 

To feel a want, yet scarce know what it 
is. 
To seek one nature that is always new. 
Whose glance is warmer than another's 
kiss, 
Whom we can bear our inmost beauty 
to, 
Nor feel deserted afterwards, — for this 
But with our destined co-mate we can 
do, — 
Such longing instinct fills the mighty 

scope 
Of the young soul with one mysterious 
hope. 

XIL 

So Mamret's heart grew brimming with 
the lore 
Of love's enticing secrets; and althongh 
She had found none to cast it down ]&- 
fore, 
Yet oft to Fancy's chapel she would go 
To pay her vows, and count the rosary 
o'er 
Of her lore's promised graces : — haply 
so 
Miranda's hope had pictured Ferdinand 
Long ere the gaunt wave tossed him on 
the strand. 

ZIII. 

A new-made star that swims the lonely 
gloom, 
Unwedded yet and longing for the sun, 
Whose beams, the bride-gifts of the lav- 
ish groom. 
Blithely to crown the vii^^in planet 
run. 
Her being was, watching to see the bloom 



Of love's fresh sunrise roofing one by 
one 
Its clouds with gold, a triumph-arch to be 
For him who came to hold her heart in 
fee. 

XIV. 

Not far from Mai^aret's cottage dwelt a 

knight 
Of the proud Templars, a sworn celi- 

bate. 
Whose heart in secret fed upon the light 
And dew of her ripe beauty, through 

the grate 
Of his close vow catching what gleams 

he might 
Of the free hearen, and cursing all too 

late 
The cruel faith whose black walls hemmed 

him in 
And turned life's crowning bliss to deadly 

sin. 

XV. 

For he had met her in the wood by chance, 
And, having drunk her beauty's wil- 
dering spell, 
His heart shook like the pennon of a lance 
That quivers in a breeze's sudden swell, 
And thenceforth, in a close-infolded 
trance, 
From mistily golden deep to deep he 
fell ; 
Till earth did waver and fade far away 
Beneath the hope in whose warm arms 
he lay. 

XVI. 

A dark, proud man he was, whose half- 
blown youth t 
Had shed its blossoms even in opening. 
Leaving a few that with more winning 
ruth 
Trembling around grave manhood's 
stem might cling. 
More sad than cheery, making, in good 
sooth, 
Like the fringed gentian, a late autumn 
spring : — 
A twilight nature, braided light and 

gloom, 
A youth half-smiling by an open tomb. 

XVII. 

Fair as an angel, who yet inly wore 
A wrinkled heart foreboding his near 
fiBtU; 



30 



MISCELLAXEOUS POKM& 



Who saw him alway wished to know him 

more. 
As if he were some fate*s defiant thrall 
And nursed a dreaded secret at his core ; 
Little he loved, but power the most of 

all. 
And that he seemed to scorn, as one who 

knew 
By what foul paths men choose to crawl 

thereto. 

XVIII. 

He had been noble, but some great de- 
ceit 
Had turned his better instinct to a 

vice: 
He strove to think the world was all a 

cheat. 
That power and fame were cheap at 

any price. 
That the sure way of being shortly great 
Was even to play life's game with 

loaded dice. 
Since he had tried the honest play and 

found 
That vice and virtue differed but in 

sound. 

XIX. 

Yet Maigaret's sight redeemed him for a 
space 
From his own thraldom ; man could 
never be 
A hypocrite when first such maiden grace 

iSmiled in upon his heart ; the agony 
Of wearing all day long a Ijnng face 
Fell lightly from him, and, a moment 
free, 
Erect with wakened faith his spirit stood 
And scorned the weakness of his demon- 
mood. 

XX. 

Like a sweet wind-harp to him was her 
thought, 
Which would not let the common air 
come near, 
Till from its dim enchantment it had 
caught 
A musical tenderness that brimmed his 
ear 
With sweetness more ethereal than aught 
Save silver-dropping snatches that 
whilere 
Rained down from some sad angel's 

faithful harp 
To cool her fallen lover's anguish sharp. 



XXT. 

Deep in the forest was a little dell 

High overarched with the leafy sweep 
Of a bit)ad oak, through whose gnarled 
roots there fell 
A slender rill that sung itself asleep, 
Wheix; its continuous toil had scooped a 
well 
To please the fairy folk ; breathlessly 
deep 
The stillness was, save when the dream- 
ing brook 
From its small urn a drizzly murmni 
shook. 

XXII. 

The wooded hills sloped upward all 
around 
With gradual rise, and made an even 
rim. 
So that it seemed a mighty casque un- 
bound 
From some huge Titan's brow to 
lighten him. 
Ages ago, and left upon the ground, 
. Where the slow soil had mossed it to 

the brim. 
Till after countless centuries it grew 
Into this dell, the haunt of noontide dew. 

XXIII. 

Dun vistas, sprinkled o'er with snn- 
flecked green. 
Wound through the thickset trunks 
on every side. 
And, toward the west, in fancy might be 
seen 
A gothic window in its blazing pride. 
When the low sun, two arching elms 
between. 
Lit up the leaves beyond, which, 
autumn -dyed 
With lavish hues, would into splendor 

start, 
Shaming the labored panes of richest art. 

XXIV. 

Here, leaning once against the old oak's 

trunk, 
Mordred, for such was the young 

Templar's name, 
Saw Mai^ret come ; unseen, the falcon 

shrunk 
From the meek dove ; sharp thrills of 

tingling flame 
Made him forget that he was vowed a 

monk, 



... J 



I 



1 



A LEGEKD OF BRITTANT. 



31 



And all the outworks of his pride o'er- 

came : 
Flooded he seemed with bright delicious 

pain, 
As if a star had burst within his brain. 

XXY. 

Sach power hath beauty and frank inno- 
cence: 
A flower bloomed forth, that sunshine 
glad to bless. 

Even ^m his love's long leafless stem ; 
the sense 
Of exile from Hope's happy realm grew 
less. 

And thoughts of childish peace, he knew 
not whence, 
Thronged round his heart with many 
an old caress. 

Melting the frost there into pearly 
dew 

That mirrored back his nature's morning- 
blue. 

XXVI. 

She turned and saw him, but she felt no 
dread, 
Her purity, like adamantine mail, 
Did so encircle her ; and yet her head 
She drooped, and made her golden hair 
her veil. 
Through which a glow of rosiest lustre 
spread. 
Then faded, and anon she stood all 
pale. 
As snow o'er which a blush of northern- 
light 
Suddenly reddens, and as soon grows 
white. 

XXVII. 

She thought of Tristrem and of Lanci- 

lot. 
Of all her dreams, and of kind fai- 
ries' might. 
And how that dell was deemed a haunted 

spot. 
Until there grew a mist before her 

sight. 
And where the present was she half 

forgot, 
Borne backward through the realms of 

old delight, — 
Then, starting up awake, she would have 

gone. 
Yet almost wished it might not be 

alone. 



XXVIII. 



How they went home together through 

the wood, 
And how all life seemed focussed into 

one 
Thought-dazzling spot that set ablaze 

the blood, 
What need to tell ? Fit language there 

is none 
For the heart's deepest things. Who 

ever wooed 
As in his boyish hope he would have 

done! 
For, when the soul is fullest, the hushed 

tongue 
Voicelessly trembles like a lute unstrung. 

XXIX. 

But all things carry the heart's messages 
And know it not, nor doth the heart 
well know. 
But nature hath her will ; even as the 
bees. 
Blithe go-betweens, fly singing to and 
fro 
With the fruit-quickening pollen ; — 
hard if these 
Found not some all unthought-of way 
to show 
Their secret each to each ; and so they 

• did, 
And one heart's flower-dust into the other 
slid. 

XXX. 

Young hearts are free ; the selfish world 

it IS 

That turns them miserly and cold as 
stone. 
And makes them clutch their fingers on 
the bliss 
Which but in giving truly is their 
own; — 
She had no dreams of barter, askod not 
his, 
But gave hers freely as she would have 
thrown 
A rose to him, or as that rose gives forth 
Its generous fragrance, thoughtless of its 
worth. 

XXXI. 

Her summer nature felt a need to bless, 
And a like longing to be blest again ; 

So, from her sky-like spirit, gentleness 
Dropt ever like a sunlit fall of rain, 

And his beneath drank in the bright 
caress 






r 



32 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



As thirstily as would a parched plain, 
That long hath watched the ahowers of 

BlopiDg gray 
For ever, ever, lallmg far away. 

XXXII. 

How should he dream of ill ? the heart 
filled quite 
With sunshine, like the shepherd's- 
clock at noon, 
Closesits leaves around its warm delight ; 
Whatever in life is harsh or out of tune 
Is all shut out, no boding shade of light 
Can pierce the opiate ether of its 
swoon: 
Love is but blind as thoughtful justice is, 
But naught can be so wanton-blind as 
bliss. 

XXXIII. 

All beauty and all life he was to her ; 
She questioned not his love, she only 
Knew 
That she loved him, and not a pulse 
could stir 
In her whole frame but quivered 
through and through 
With this glad thought, and was a min- 
ister 
To do him fealty and service true, 
hike golden ripples hasting to the land 
To wreck their freight of sunshine on the 
strand. 

XXXIV. 

dewy dawn of love ! hopes that are 
Hung high, like the clin-swallow's 
perilous nest. 
Most like to fall when fullest, and that jar 
With evoiy heavier billow 1 unrest 
Than balmiest deeps of quiet sweeter far ! 
How did ye triumph now in Mai^- 
ret's breast, 
Making it readier to shrink and start 
Than Quivering gold of the pond-lily's 
neart ! 

XXXV. 

Here let us pause : 0, would the soul 
might ever 
Achieve its immortality in youth, 
W^hen nothing yet hath damped its high 
eniieavor 
After the starry energy of truth ! 
Here let us pause, and for a moment sever 
This gleam of sunshine from the days 
unruth 
That sometime come to all, for it is good 
To lengthen to the last a sunny mood. 



FART SECOND. 



I. 



As one who, from the sunshine and the 
green. 
Enters the &olid darkness of a cave. 
Nor knows what precipice or pit unseen 
May yawn before him with its sudden 
^ve, 
And, with hushed breath, doth often for- 
ward lean. 
Dreaming he hears the plashing of a 
wave 
Dimly below, or feels a damper air 
From out some dreary chasm, he knows 
not where ; — 

II. 

So, from the sunshine and- the green of 
love. 
We enter oh our story's darker part ; 
And, though the horror of it well may 
move 
An impulse of repugnance in the heart, 
Yet let us think, that, as there 's naught 
above 
The all-embracing atmosphere of Art, 
So also there is naught that falls below 
Her generous reach, though grimed with 
guilt and woe. 

III. 

Her fittest triumph is to show that good 

Lurks in the heart of evil evei-more. 
That love, though scorned, and outcast, 
and withstood, 
Can without end forgive, and yet have 
store ; 
God's love and man's are of the selfsame 
blood. 
And He can see that always at the door 
Of foulest hearts the angel-nature yet 
Knocks to return and cancel all its debt. 

IV. 

It ever is weak falsehood's destiny 
That her thick mask turns crystal to 
let through 
The unsuspicious eyes of honesty ; 
But Margaret*s heart was too sincere 
and true 
Aught but plain truth and faithfulness 
to see, 
And Mordred's for a time a little grew 
To be like hers, won by the mild reproof 
Of those kind eyes that kept fdl doubt 
aloof. 



A LEGEND OF BRITTANY. 



33 



I 



I 



I 



I 



I 



] 



V. 

Full oft they met, as dawn and twilight 
meet 
In northern climes ; she full of grow- 
inff day 
As he of darkness, which before her feet 
Shrank gradual, and faded quite away, 
Soon to return ; for power nad made 
lore sweet 
To him, and, when his will had gained 
full sway, 
The taste becan to pall ; for never power 
Can sate the hungry soul beyond an noar. 

VI. 

He fell as doth the tempter ever fall, 
£ven in the gaining of his loathsome 
end ; 
God doth not work as man works, but 
makes all 
The crooked paths of ill to goodness 
tend ; 
Let him judge Maigaret ! If to be the 
thrall 
Of love, and faith too generous to 
defend 
Its very life from him she loved, be sin. 
What hope of grace may the seducer 
win? 

VII. 

Grim-hearted world, that look*8t with 
Levite eyes 
On those poor fallen by too much 
faith in man. 
She that upon thy freezing threshold lies, 
Starved to more sinning by thy sav- 
age ban, 
Seeking that refuge because foulest vice 
More godlike than thy virtue is, whose 
span 
Shats out the wretched only, is more 

free 
To enter Heaven than thou wilt ever be ! 

VIIL 

Thon wilt not let her wash thy dainty 
feet 
With such salt things as tears, or with 
rude hair 
Dry them, soft Pharisee, that sit'st at 
meat 
With him who made her such, and 
speak'st him fair, 
Leaving God*s wandering lamb the while 
to bleat 
Unheeded, fdiivering in the pitiless air : 

3 



Thon hast made prisoned virtue show 

more wan 
And haggard than a vice to louk upon. 

IX. 

Now many months flew by, and weary 
grew 
To Margaret the sight of happy things; 
Blight fell on all her flowers, instead of 
dew; 
Shut round her heart were now the 
joyous wings 
Wherewith it wont to soar ; yet not un- 
true. 
Though tempted much, her woman's 
nature clings 
To its first pure belief, and with sad 

eyes 
Looks backward o*er the gate of Paradise. 



And so, though altered Mordred came 

less oft. 
And winter frowned where spring had 

laughed before, 
In his strange eyes, yet half her sadness 

dofTed, 
And in her silent patience loved him 

more : 
Sorrow had made her soft heart yet more 

soft. 
And a new life within her own she 

bore 
Which made her tenderer, as she felt it 

move 
Beneath her breast, a refuge for her love. 

XI. 

This babe, she thought, would surely 
bring him back. 
And be a bond forever them between; 
Before its eyes the sullen tempest-rack 
Would fade, and leave the face of 
heaven serene ; 
And love's return doth more than fill 
the lack. 
Which in his absence withered the 
heart's green: 
And yet a dim foreboding still would 

flit 
Between her and her hope to darken it. 

XII. 

She could not figure forth a happy fate. 
Even for this Ufe from heaven so newly 
come ; 



34 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



The earth must needs be doubly desolate 
To him scarce parted from a fairer 

home : 
Such boding heavier on her bosom sate 
One night, as, standing in the twilight 

gloani, 
She strained her eyes beyond that dizzy 

veiige 
At whose foot faintly breaks the future's 

surge. 

ZIII. 

Poor little spirit I naught but shame and 
woe 
Nurse the sick heart whose lifeblood 
nurses thine : 
Yet not those only ; lore hath triumphed 
so, 
As for thy sake makes sorrow more 
divine : 
And yet, though thou be pure, the world 
is foe 
To purity, if bom in such a shrine ; 
And, naving trampled it for struggling 

thence, 
Smiles to itself, and calls it Providence. 

XIV. 

As thus she mused, a shadow seemed to 

rise 
From out her thought, and turn to 

dreariness 
All blissful hopes and sunny memories, 
And the quick blood would curdle up 

and press 
About her heart, which seemed to shut 

its eyes 
And husii itself, as who with shudder- 
ing guess 
Harks through the gloom and dreads e*en 

now to feel 
Through his hot breast the icy slide of 

steel. 

XV. 

But, at that heart-beat, while in dread 
she was, 
In the low wind the honeysuckles 
gleam, 
A dewy thrill flits through the heavy 
grass. 
And, looking forth, she saw, as in a 
dream, 
Within the wood the moonlight's shad- 
owy mass : 
Night's starry heart yearning to hers 
doth seem, 



To cheat him of the hope ne held most 



And the deep sky, full-hearted with the 

moon. 
Folds round her all the happiness of June. I 

XVI. ' 

What fear could face a heaven and earth 
like this f • 

What silveriest cloud could hang'neath ^ 
such a sky ? | 

A tide of wondrous and unwonted bliss 
Bolls back through all her pulses sud- 
denly. 
As if some seraph, who had learned to 
kiss 
From the fair daughters of the world 
• gone by, 
Had wedded so his fallen light with hers. 
Such sweet, strange joy through soul and 
body stirs. 

XVII. 

Now seek we Mordred : he who did not 
fear 
The crime, yet fears the latent conse- 
quence : 
If it should reach a brother Templar's car. 
It haply might be made a ^wA |>reteDce 
?at hin 
dear ; 
For he had spared no thought's or 
deed's expense, > 

That by and by might help his wish to : 
clip ! 

Its darling bride, — the high grandmas- 
tership. 

XVIII. 

The apathy, ere a crime resolved is done. 
Is scarce less dreadful than remorse 
for crime ; 
By no allurement can the soul be won 
From brooding o'er the weary creep of 
time: 
Mordred stole forth into the happy bud. 
Striving to hum a scrap of Breton 
rhyme. 
But the sky struck him speechless, and 

he tried 
In vain to summon up his callous pride. 

XIX. 

In the courtyard a fountain leaped alway, 

A Triton blowing jewels tlirough his 

shell 

Into the sunshine ; Mordred turned away. 

Weary because the stone face did not 

tell 



A LEGEND OF BBITTAKT. 



35 



Of weariness, nor could he bear to-da^, 
Heartsick, to hear the patient siiik 
and swell 
Of winds among the leaves, or golden bees 
Drowsily humming in the orange-trees. 



All happy sights and sounds now came 
to him 
like a reproach : he wandered far and 
wide, 
Following the lead of his unquiet whim, 
But stul there went a something at his 
side 
That made the cool breeze hot, the sun- 
shine dim ; 
It would not flee, it could not be defied. 
He could not see it, but he felt it there, 
By the damp chiU that crept among his 
hair. 

XXL 

Day wore at last ; the evening-star arose. 
And throbbing in the sky grew red and 
set ; 
Then with a gniltv, wavering step he ffoes 
To the hid nook where they so oft nad 
met 
In happier season, for his heart well 
Knows 
That he is sure to find poor Margaret 
Watching and waiting there with love- 
lorn breast 
Around her young dream's rudely scat- 
tered nest. 

XXII. 

W^ follow here that ffrim old chronicle 
Which counts the dagger-strokes and 
drops of blood ? 
Enough that Margaret by his mad steel 
fell. 
Unmoved by murder from her trusting 
mood. 
Smiling on him as Heaven smiles on Hell, 
With a sad love, remembering when 
he stood 
Not fallen vet, the unsealer of her heart. 
Of all her holy dreams the holiest part. 

XXIII. 

His crime complete, scarce knowing what 
he did, 
(So goes the tale,) beneath the altar 
there 
In the high chureh the stiffening corpse 
he hid. 
And then, to*scape that suffocating air, 



Like a scared ghoul out of the poroh he 
slid; 
But his strained eyes saw blood-spots 
everywhere. 

And ghastly faces thrust themselves be- 
tween 

His soul and hopes of peace with blasting 
mien. 

XXIV. 

His heart went out within him like a 

spark 
Dropt in the sea; wherever he made 

bold 
To turn his eyes, he saw, all stiff and 

stark. 
Pale Margaret lying dead ; the lavish 

gold 
Of her loose hair seemed in the cloudy 

dark 
To s^iread a glory, and a thousand-fold 
More strangely pale and beautiful she 

grew: 
Her silence stabbed his conscience 

through and through: 

XXV. 

Or visions of past days, — a mother's eyes 
That smiled down on the fair boy* at 
her knee, 
Whose happy upturned face to hers re- 
plies, — 
He saw sometimes : or Maigaret mourn- 
fully 
Gazed on him full of doubt, as one who 
tries 
To crush belief that does love injury ; 
Then she would wring her hands, bat 

soon again 
Love's patience glimmered out through 
cloudy paui. 

XXVI. 

Meanwhile he dared not go and steal away 
The silent, dead-cold witness of his sin : 
He had not feared the life, but that dull 
clay, 
Those open eyes that showed the death 
witnin, 
Would surely stare him mad ; yet all the 
day 
A dreadful impulse, whence his will 
could win 
No refuge, made him linger in the aisle, 
Freezing with his wan look each greeting 
smile. 



i 36 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



' XXTII. 

j Now, on the second day there was to be 
I A festival iu church : from far and near 
I Came Mocking in the sunburnt peasantry, 
I And knights and dames with stately 
I anti<jue cheer, 

Blazing with pomp, as if all faerie 
Had emptied her quaint halls, or, as 

it were, 
! The illuminated mai^ge of some old book, 
• While we were gazing, life and motion 

took. 

XXVIII. 

When all were entered, and the roving 
eyes 
Of all were stayed, some upon faces 
; bright. 

Some on the priests, some on the traceries 
That decked the slumber of a marble 
knight, 
And all the nistlings over that arise 
From re<;ognizing tokens of delight, 
. When friendly glances meet, — then si- 
lent ease 
Spread o'er tlie multitude by slow de- 
I grees. 

XXIZ. 

' Then swelled the organ: up through 
choir and nave 
The music trembled with an inward 
thrill 
Of bliss at its own grandeur: wave on 
wave 
Its flood of mellow thunder rose, un- 

til 

; The hushed air shivered with the throb 
it gave. 
Then, poising for a moment, it stood 
still, 
And sank and rose again, to burst in 
spray 
- That wandered into silence far away. 

XXX. 

. Like to a mighty heart the music seemed. 
That yearns with melodies it cannot 
speak, 
Until, in grand despair of what it 
dreamed. 
In the agony of effort it doth break, 
Yet triumphs breaking ; on it rushed and 
streamed 
And wantoned in its might, as when 
a lake. 



Long pent among the mountains, bursts 

its walls 
And in one crowding gush leaps forth 

and falls. 

XXXI. 

Deeper and deeper shudders shook the 
air, 
As the huge bass kept gathering heav- 
ily* 

Like thunder when it rouses in its lair. 

And with its hoarse growl shakes the 
low-hung sky. 
It grew up like a darkness everywhere, 

Filling the vast cathedml ; — suddenly, 
From the dense mass a boy's clear treble 

broke 
Like lightning, and the full-toned choir 
awoke. 

XXXII. 

Through gorceous windows shone the 
sun aslant, 
Brimmine the church with gold and 
purple mist, 
Meet atmosphere to bosom that rich 
chant. 
Where fifty voices in one strand did 
twist. 
Their varicolored tones, and left no want 
To the delighted soul, which sank 
abyssed 
In the waiin music cloud, while, far be- 
low. 
The organ heaved its surges to and fro. 

XXXIII. 

As if a lark should suddenly drop dead 
While the blue air yet trembled with 

its song. 
So snapped at once that music's golden 

ttiread, 
Struck by a nameless fear that leapt 

along 
From heart to heart, and like a shadow 

sjpread 
With instantaneous shiver through the 

throng. 
So that some glanced behind, as half 

aware 
A hideous shape of dread were standing 

there. 

XXXIV. 

As when a crowd of pale men gather 
round, 
Watching an eddy in the leaden deep. 



A LE6EXD OF BBITTANT. 



37 } 



From which they deem the hody of one 
drowned 
Will be cast forth, from face to face 
doth creep 

An eager dread that holds all tongues 
fast bound 
Until the horror, with a ghastly leap, 

Starts up, its dead blue arms stretched 
aimlessly. 

Heaved with the swinging of the care- 
less sea, — 

XXXV. 

So in the facat of all these there grew, 
As by one impulse, a dark, freezing 
awe, 
Which, with a fearful fascination drew 
All eyes toward the altar ; damp and 
raw 
The air grew suddenly, and no man knew 
Whether perchance his silent neighbor 
saw 
The dreadful thing which all were sure 

would rise 
To scare the strained lids wider from 
their eyes. 

XXXVI. 

The incense trembled as it upward sent 
its slow, uncertain thread of wander- 
ing blue. 
As *t were the only living element 
In all the church, so deep the stillness 
grew; 
It seemed one might have heard it, as it 
went, 
Give out an audible rustle, curling 
through 
The midnight silence of that awe-struck 

air. 
More hushed than death, though so 
much life was there. 



XXXVII. 

Nothing they saw, but a low voice was 
heard 
Threading the ominous silence of that 
fear, 
Gentle and terrorless as if a bird, « 

Wakened by some volcano's glare, 
should cheer 
The murk air with his song ; yet every 
word 
In the cathedral's farthest arch seemed 
near, 



As if it spoke to every one apart. 
Like the clear voice oi conscience in each 
heart. 

XXXVIII. 

'*0 Rest, to weary hearts thou art most 
dear ! 
O Silence, after life's bewildering din. 
Thou art most welcome^ whether m the 
sear 
Days of our age thou comest, or we 
win 
Thy poppy- wreath in youth ! then where- 
fore here 
Linger I yet, once free to enter in 
At that wished gate which gentle Death 

doth ope. 
Into the boundless realm of strength and 
hope/ 

XXXIX. 

"Think not in death my love could ever 
cease; 
If thou wast false, more need there is 
for me 
Still to be true ; that slumber were not 
peace. 
If 't were un visited with dreams of 
thee : 
And thou hadst never heard such words 
as these. 
Save that in heaven I must forever be 
Most comfortless and wretched, seeing 

this 
Our unbaptized babe shut out from bliss. 

XL. 

"This little spirit with imploring eyes 
Wanders alone the dreary wild of 
space; 
The shaaow of his pain forever lies 
Upon my soul in this new dwelling- 
place ; 
His loneliness makes me in Pamdise 

More lonely, and, unless I see his face, 
Even here for grief could I lie down and 

(lie, 
Save for my curse of immortality. 

XLI. 

"World after world he sees around him 
swim 
Crowded with happy souls, that take 
no heed 
Of the sad eyes that From the night's 
faint rim 
Gaze sick with longing on them as 
they speed 



L 



38 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



With ffolden gates, that only shnt ont 

him; 
And shapes sometimes from Hell's 

abysses freed 
Flap darkly by him, with enonnous 

sweep 
Of wines that roughen wide the pitchy 

deep. 

XLII. 

"I am a mother, — spirits do not shake 
This much of eartn from them, — and 
I must pine 
Till I can feel his little hands, and take 
His weary head upon this heart of 
mine; 
And, might it be, fuU gladly for his 
sake 
Would I this solitude of bliss resign, 
And be shut out of Heaven to dwell with 

him 
Forever in that silence drear and dim. 

XLIII. 

'*! strove to hush my soul, and would 

not speak 
At first, for thy dear sake ; a woman's 

love 
Is mighty, but a mother's heart is weak, 
And by its weakness overcomes; I 

strove 
To smother bitter thoughts with patience 

meek. 
But iitill in the abyss my soul would 

rove. 
Seeking my child, and drove me here to 

claim 
Tie rite that gives him peace in Christ's 

dear name. 

XLIV. 

''I sit and weep while blessed spirits 

sing ; 
I can but long and pine the while they 

praise, 
And, leaning o'er the wall of Heaven, I 

fling 
My voice to where I deem my infant 

strays. 
Like a robbed bird that cries in vain to 

brin^ 
Her nestlings back beneath her wings' 

embrace ; 
Bnt still he answers not, and I but know 
That Heaven and earth are both alike in 

woe." 



XLV. 



Then the pale priests, with ceremony due, 
BaptiztKi the child within its dreadM 
tomb 

Beneath that mother^s heart, whose in- 
stinct true 
Star-like had battled down the triple 
gloom 

Of sorrow, love, and death : yonng maid- 
ens, too. 
Strewed the pale corpse with many a 
milkwhite bloom, 

And parted the bright hair, and on the 
breast 

Crossed the unconscious hands in sign 
of rest. 

XLVI. 

Some said, that, when the priest had 
sprinkled o'er 
The consecrated dro^is, they seemed to 
hear 
A sigh, as of some heart from travail 
sore 
Released, and then tw*o voices singing 
clear, 
MUereatur Bens, more and more 
Fading far npwaixl, and Uieir ghastly 
fear 
Fell from them with that sound, as 

bodies fall 
From souls upspringing to celestial haU. 



PROMXTHEUB. 

One after one the stars have risen and 

set. 
Sparkling upon the hoarfrost on my 

chain : 
The Bear, that prowled all night about the 

fold 
Of the North-star, hath shrunk into his 

den. 
Scared by the blithesome footsteps of the 

Dawn, 
Whose blushing smile floods all the 

Orient ; 
And now bright Lucifer grows less and 

less, 
Into the heaven's blue quiet deep- with- 
drawn. 
Sunless and starless all, the desert sky 
Arches above me, empty as this heart 
For ages hath been empty of all joy, 
£xcept to brood upon its silent hope, 
As o'er its hope of day the sky doth now. 



! 






PBOMETHEUS. 



39 . 



All night have I heard voices : deeper yet 
The deep low breathing of the sileuce 

grew, 
While all about, moffled in awe, there 

stood 
Shadows, or forms, or both, clear-felt at 

heart, 
But» when I tamed to front them, far 

along 
Only a shnilder through the midnight ran, 
And the dense stillness walled me closer 

round. 
I But still I heard them wander up and 

down 
That solitude, and flappings of dusk 

wings 
Did mingle with them, whether of those 

hags 
Let slip upon me once from Hades deep. 
Or of yet direr torments, if such be, 
I could but guess ; and then toward me 

came 
A shape as of a woman : very pale 
It was, and calm ; its cold eyes did not 

move. 
And mine moved not, but only stared on 

them. 
Their fixed awe went through my brain 

like ice ; 
A skeleton hand seemed clutching at my 

heart. 
And a sharu chill, as if a dank night fog 
Suddenly closed me in, was all I felt : 
And then, methought, I heard a freezing 

siffh, 
A long, deep, shivering sigh, as from blue 

lips 
Stiffening in death, close to mine ear. I 

thought 
Some doom was close upon me, and I 

looked 
And saw the red moon through the heavy 

mist. 
Just setting, and it seemed as it were 

falling. 
Or reeling to its fall, so dim and dead 
And palsy-struck it looked. Then all 

sounds merged 
Into the rising surges of the pines. 
Which, leagues below me, clothing the 

gaunt loins 
Of ancient Caucasus with hairy strength, 
Sent up a murmur in the morning wind, 
Sad as the wail that from the populous 

earth 
All day and night to high Olympus soars. 
Fit incense to thy wicked throne, Jove ! 



Thy hated name is tossed once more in 
scorn 

From off my lips, for I will tell thy doom. 

And are these tears f Kay, do not tri- 
umph, Jove ! 

They are wrung from me but by the ago- 
nies 

Of prophecy, like those sparse drops 
which fall 

From clouds in travail of the lightning, 
when 

The great wave of the storm high-curled 
and black 

RoUs steadily onward to its thunderous 
break. 

Why art thou made a god of, thou poor 
type 

Of anger, and revenge, and cunning fore/ ? 

True Power was never bom of brutish 
Strength, 

Nor sweet Truth suckled at the shaggy 
dugs 

Of that old she-wolf. Are thy thunder- 
bolts. 

That quell the darkness for a space, so 
strong 

As the prevailing patience of meek Light, 

Who, with the invincible tenderness of 
peace, 

Wins it to be a portion of herself ? 

Why art thou niiEuie a god of, thou, who 
hast 

The never-sleeping terror at thy heai-t, 

That birthright of all tyrants, worse to 
bear 

Than this thy ravening bird on which I 
smile ? 

Thou swear'st to free me, if I will unfold 

What kind of doom it is whose omen flits 

Across thy heart, as o'er a troop of dovf s 

The fearful shadow of the kite. What 
need 

To know that trath whose knowle<lge 
cannot save ? 

Evil its errand hath, as well as Good ; 

When thine is finished, thou art known 
no more : 

There is a higher purity than thon, 

And Jiigher purity is greater strength ; 

Thy nature is thy doom, at whicii thy 
heart 

Trembles behind the thick wall of thv 
might. 

Let man but hope, and thou art straight- 
way chilled 

With thought of that drear silence and 
deep night 



I m^ m ■ ■ ■ I 



I 

J 



■♦-' 



40 



BOSCELIAKEOUS POEMS. 



Which, like a dream, shall swallow thee 

and thine : 
Let man but will, and thou art god no 

more, 
More capable of ruin than the gold 
And ivory that image thee on eaith. 
He who hurled down the monstrous 

Titan-brood 
Blinded with lightnings, with rough 

thunders stunned. 
Is weaker than a simple human thought. 
My slender voice can shake thee, as the 

breeze, 
That seems but apt to stir a maiden's hair, 
Sways huge Oceanus from pole to |>ole ; 
For I am still Prometheus, and foreknow 
In my wise heart the end and doom of all. 

Yes, I am still Prometheus, wiser grown 
By years of solitude, — that holds apart 
The past and future, giving the soul i-oom 
To search into itself, — and long com- 
mune 
With this eternal silence ; — more a god, 
I n my long-suffering and strength to meet 
With equal front the direst shafts of fate, 
Than thou in thy faint-hearted despot- 
ism. 
Girt with thy baby-toys of force and 

wrath. 
Yes, I am that Prometheus who brought 

down 
The light to man, which thou, in selfish 

fear, 
Hadst to thyself usurped, — his by sole 

right. 
For Man hath right to all save Tyr- 
anny, — 
And which shall free him yet from thy 

frail throne. 
Tyrants are but the spawn of Ignorance, 
Begotten by the slaves they trample on. 
Who, could they win a glimmer of the 

light, 
And see that Tyranny is always weak- 
ness, 
Or Fear with its own bosom ill at ease, 
Would laugh away in scorn the sand- 
wove chain 
Which their own blindness feigned for 

adamant 
Wrong Hver builds on quicksands, but 

the Right 
To the firm centre lays its moveless base. 
The tyrant trembles, if the air but stirs 
The innocent linglets of a child's free 
hair, 



And crouches, when the thought of some 

great spirit. 
With world-wide murmui*, like a rising 

gale. 
Over men's hearts, as over standing com. 
Hushes, and bends them to its own strong 

will. 
So shall some thought of mine yet circle 

earth. 
And puff away thy crumbling altars, 

Jove! 

And, wouldst thou know of my su- 
preme revenge. 
Poor tyrant, even now dethroned iu 

heart, 
Realmless in soul, as tyrants ever are. 
Listen ! and tell me if this bitter peak, 
This never-glutted vulture, ana these 

chains 
Shrink not before it ; for it shall befit 
A sorrow-taught, unconquered Titan- 
heart. 
Men, when their death is on them, seem 

to stand 
On a precipitous crag that overhangs 
The abyss of doom, and in that depth 

to see. 
As in a glass, the features dim and vast 
Of things to come, the shadows, as it 

seems, 
Of what have been. Death ev|er fronts 

the wise ; 
Not fparfullv, but with clear promises 
Of lai^^r life, on whose broad vans up- 
borne. 
Their outlook widens, and they see be- 
yond 
The horizon of the Present and the Past, 
Even to the very source and end of 

things. 
Such am I now: immortal woe hath 

made 
My heart a seer, and my soul a judge 
Between the substance and the shadow 

of Truth. 
The sure sujiremeness of the Beautiful, 
Bv all the martyrdoms made doublv sure 
Of such as 1 am, this is my revenge. 
Which of ray wrongs builds a triumphal 

arch. 
Through which I see a sceptre and a 

throne. 
The pipings of glad shepherds on the 

hills, 
Tending the fiocks no more to bleed for 
thee, — 



I 



I 



I 



PSOXETHEUS. 



41 



The 80Dgs of mftidens pressing with white 

feet 
The vintage on thine altars poured no 

more, — 
The murmaTous bUss of lovers, under- 
neath 
Dim grapevine bowers, whose rosy 

bunches press 
Xot half so closely their warm cheeks, 

unpaled 
By thoughts of thy brute lust, — the 

hive-like hum 
Of peaceful commonwealths, where sun- 
burnt Toil 
Reaps for itself the rich earth made its 

own 
By its owa labor, lightened with glad 

hymns 
To an omnipotence which thy mad bolts 
Would cope with as a spare, with the 

vast sea, — 
Even the spirit of free love and peace, 
Duty's sure recompense through life and 

death, — 
These are such harvests as all master- 
spirits 
Reap, haply not on earth, but reap no 

le.s3 
Because the sheaves are bound by hands 

not theirs ; 
These are the bloodless daggers where- 
withal 
They stab fallen tyrants, this their high 

revenge : 
For their best part of life on earth is 

when. 
Long after death, prisoned and pent no 

more. 
Their thoughts, their wild dreams even, 

have become 
Part of the necessary air men breathe : 
When, like the moon, herself behind a 

cloud. 
They shed down light before us on life's 

sea. 
That cheers us to steer onward still in 

hope. 
Earth witn her twining memories ivies 

o'er 
Their holy sepulchres ; the chainless sea, 
In tempest or wide calm, repeats their 

thoughts ; 
The lightning and the thunder, all free 

things. 
Have legends of them for the ears of 

men. 
All other glories are as falling stars. 



But universal Nature watches theirs : 
Such strength is won by love of human 
kind. 

Not that I feel that hunger after fame, 
Which souls of a half-greatness are beset 

with ; 
But that the memory of noble deeds 
Cries shame upon the idle and the vile. 
And keeps the heart of Man forever up 
To the heroic level of old time. 
To be forgot at first is little pain 
To a heart conscious of such high intent ' 
As must be deathless on the lips of men ; 
But, having been a name, to sink and l>e 
A something which the world can do 

without. 
Which, having been or not, would never 

change 
The lightest pulse of fate, — this is in- 
deed 
A cup of bitterness the worst to taste, 
And this thy heart shall empty to the 

dregs. 
Endless despair shall be thy Caucasus, 
And memory thy vulture ; thou wilt find 
Oblivion far lonelier than this peak, — 
Behold thy destiny! Thou thiuk'st it 

much 
That I should brave thee, miserable god ! 
But I have braved a mightier than thou. 
Even the tempting of this soaring heart. 
Which might have made me, scarcely 

less than thou, 
A god among my brethren weak and 

blind, — 
Scarce less than thou, a pitiable thing 
To be down-trodden into darkness soon. 
But now I am above thee, for thou art 
The bungling workmanship of fear, the 

block 
That awes the swart Barbarian ; but I 
Am what myself have made, — a nature 

wise 
With finding in iteelf the types of all, — 
With watching from the dim verge of ' 

the time 
What things to bo are visible in the 

gleams 
Thrown forward on them from the lumi- 
nous past, — 
Wise with the history of its own frail 

heart. 
With reverence and with sorrow, and 

with love, 
Broad as the world, for freedom and for 

man. 



42 



MISCELLANEOUS POElfS. 



Thou and all strength ahall cramble, 

except Jjove, 
By whom, and for whose gloiy, ye shall 

cease: 
And, when thou art but a dim moaning 

heard 
From out the pitiless gloom of Chaos, I 
Shall be a power and a memory, 
A name to fright all tyrants with, a 

light 
Unsetting as the pole-star, a great voice 
Heard in the breathless pauses of the 

fight 
By truth and freedom ever waged with 

wrong, 
Clear as a silver trumpet, to awake 
Huge echoes that from age to age live 

on 
In kindred spirits, giving them a sense 
Of boundless power from boundless suf- 
fering wrung : 
And many a glazing eye shall smile to 

see 
The memory of my triumph (for to meet 
Wrong with endurance, and to overcome 
The present with a heart that looks be- 
yond, 
Are triumph), like a prophet eagle, perch 
Upon the sacred banner of the Kight. 
Evil springs ufi, and flowers, ana bears 

no seed, 
And feeds the green earth with its swift 

decay. 
Leaving it richer for the growth of 

truth; 
But Good, once put in action or in 

thought. 
Like a strong oak, doth from its boughs 

shed down 
The ripe germs of a forest. Thou, weak 

god. 
Shalt fade and be forgotten t but this 

soul, 
Fresh-living still in the serene abyss. 
In every heaving shall partake, that 

gl'OWS 

From lieait to heart among the sons of 
men, — 

As the ominous hum before the earth- 
quake nins 

Far through the iEgean from roused isle 
to isle, — 

Foreboding wreck to palaces and shrines, 

And mighty rents in many a cavernous 
eiTor 

That darkens the free light to man : — 
This heart, 



Unscarred by thy grim vulture, as the 

truth 
Grows but more lovely *neath the beaks 

and claws 
Of Harpies blind that fain would soil it, 

shall 
In all the throbbing exultations share 
That wait on freedom's triumphs, and 

in all 
The glorious agonies of martyr-spirits, — 
Sharp lightning-throes to split the jsg- 

ged clouds 
That veil the future, shom-ing them the 

end, — 
Pain's thorny crown for constancy and 

truth. 
Girding the temples like a wreath of 

stars. 
This is a thought, that, like the fiibled 

laurel. 
Makes my faith thunder-proof; and thy 

dread bolts 
Fall on me like the silent flakes of snow 
On the hoar brows of aged Caucasus : 
But, thought far more blissful, thej 

can rend 
This cloud of flesh, and make my soul a 

star! 

Unleash thy crouching thunders now, 

O Jove 1 
Free this high heart, which, a poor cap- 
tive long, 
Doth knock to be let forth, this heart 

which still. 
In its invincible manhood, overtops 
Thy puny godship, as this mountain doth 
The pines that moss its roots. O, even 

now, • 

While from my peak of suflering I look 

down. 
Beholding with a far-spread gush of 

hope 
The sunrise of that Beauty, in whose 

face, 
Shone all around with love, no man shall 

look 
But straightway like a god he is uplift 
Unto the throne long empty for his sake. 
And clearly oft foreshadowed in wide 

dreams 
By his free inward nature, which nor 

thou, 
Nor any anarch after thee, can bind 
From working its great doom, — now, 

now set free 
This essence, not to die, but to become 



PBOMETHEUS. 



43 



I 



I 



Part of that awful Presence which doth 

haunt 
The palaces of tyrants, to hunt off, 
With its grim eyes and fearful whisper- 
ings 
And hidtHius sense of utter loneliness, 
All hope of safety, all desire of peace. 
All bat the loathed forefeeling of blank 

death, — 
Part of that spirit which doth ever brood 
In patient calm on the unpilfered nest 
Of man's deep heart, till mighty thoughts 

grow fledged 
To sail with darkening shadow o*er the 

world. 
Filling with dread such souls as dare not 

trust 
In the unfailing energy of Good, 
Until they swoop, and their pale quarry 

make 
Of some o'erbloated wrong, — that spirit 

which 
Scatters great hopes in the seed-field of 

man. 
Like acorns among grain, to grow and be 
A roof for freedom in all coming time ! 

Bnt no, this cannot be ; for ages yet, 
In solitude unbroken, shall 1 hear 
The angry* Caspian to the Euxine shout. 
And Euxine answer with a muffled roar, 
On either side storming the giant walls 
Of Caucasus with leagues of climbing 

foam 
(Less, from my height, than flakes of 

downy snow), 
That draw back baffled bnt to hurl again, 
Snatched up in wrath and horrible tur- 
moil. 
Mountain on mountain, as the Titans 

erst. 
My brethren, scaling the high seat of 

Jove, 
Heaved Pelion upon Ossa's shoulders 

brood 
In vain emprise. The moon will come 

and go 
With her monotonous vicissitude ; 
Once beautiful, when I was free to walk 
Among my fellows, and to interchange 
The influence benign of loving eyes, 
But now by aged use grown wearisome ; — 
False thought ! most false ! for how could 

I endure 
These crawling centuries of lonely woe 
Unshame«i by weak complaining, but for 

thee, 



Loneliest, save me, of all created things, 
Mild-eyed Astarte, my best comforter. 
With thy pale smile of sad benignity ? 

Year after year will pass away and 

seem 
To me, in mine eternal agony. 
But as the shadows of dumb summer 

clouds. 
Which I have watched so often darken- 
ing o'er 
The vast Sarmatian plain, league-wide 

at first, 
But, with still swiftness, lessening on 

and on 
Till cloud and shadow meet and mingle 

where 
The gray horizon fades into the sky, 
Far, far to northward. Yes, for ages yet 
Must I lie here upon my altar huge, 
A sacrifice for man. Sorrow will ne, 
As it hath been, his portion; endless 

doom. 
While the immortal with the mortal 

linked 
Dreams of its wings and pines for what 

it dreams. 
With upward yearn unceasing. Better 

so : 
For wisdom is meek sorrow's patient 

child. 
And empire over self, and all the deep 
Strong charities that make men seem 

like gods ; 
And love, that makes them be gods, 

from her breasts 
Sucks in the milk that makes mankind 

one blood. 
Good never comes unmixed, or so it 

seems. 
Having two faces, as some images 
Are carved, of foolish gods; one face 

is ill ; 
But one heart lies beneath, and that is 

good. 
As are all hearts, when we explore their 

depths. 
Therefore, great heart, bear up ! thou art 

but type 
Of what all lofty spirits endure, that fain 
Would win men l)ack to strength and 

peace through love : 
Each hath his lonely peak, and on each 

heart 
Envy, or scorn, or hatred, tears lifelong 
With vulture beak ; yet the high soul is 

left; 



j 44 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



And faith, which is but hope grown 
wise ; and love 

And patience, which at last shall over- 
come. 



THE SHEPHERD OF KINa ADMETUS. 

There came a youth upon the earth, 

Some thousand years ago. 
Whose slender hands were nothing 

worth, 
"Whether to plough, or reap, or sow. 

Upon an empty tortoise-shell 

He stretched some chords, and drew 
Music that made men's bosoms swell 
Fearless, or brimmed their eyes with 
dew. 

Then King Admetus, one who had 

Pure taste by right divine, 
Decreed his singing not too bad 
To hear between the cups of wine : 

And so, well pleased with being soothed 

Into a sweet half-sleep. 
Three timeshis kingly Ward he smoothed. 
And made him viceroy o'er his sheep. 

His words were simple words enough, 

And yet he used them so. 
That what in other mouths was rongh 
In his seemed musical and low. 

Men called him but a shiftless youth, 

In whom no good they saw ; 
And yet, unwittingly, in truth. 
They made his careless words their law. 

They knew not how he learned at all, 

For idly, hour by hour, 
He sat and watched the dead leaves fall. 
Or mused upon a common flower. 

It seemed the loveliness of things 

Did teach him all their use. 
For, in mere weeds, and stones, and 

spiings. 
He found a healing power profuse. 

Men granted that his speech was wise, 

But^ when a glance they caught 
Of his slim grace and woman's eyes, 
They laughed, and called him good-for- 
naught. 

Yet after he was dead and gone. 
And e'en his memory dim. 



Earth seemed more sweet to live upon, 
More full of love, because uf him. 

And day by day more holy grew 
flach s(>ot where he had trod. 
Till after-poets only knew 
Their first-bom brother as a god. 



THE TOKEN. 

It is a mere wild rosebud, 

Quite sallow now, and dry. 
Yet there *6 something wondrous in it. 

Some gleams of days gone by, 
Dear sights and sounds that are to me 
The very moons of memory. 
And stir my heart's blood far below 
Its short-lived waves of joy and woe. 

Lips must fade and roses wither, 

All sweet times be o'er ; 
They only smile, and, murmuring 
•'Thither I" 

Stay with us no more : 
And yet ofttinies a look or smile. 
Forgotten in a kiss's while, 
Ye^rs after from the dark will start. 
And flash across the trembling heart. 

Thou hast given me many roses. 

But never one, like this, 
O'erfloods both sense and spirit 

With such a deep, wild bliss ; 
We must have instincts that glean up 
Sparse drops of this life in the cup, 
\V hose taste shall give us all that we 
Can prove of immortality. 

Farth's stablest things are shadows, 

And, in the life to come. 
Haply some chance-saved trifle 

May tell of this old home : 
As now sometimes we seem to find. 
In a dark crevice of the mind. 
Some relic, which, long ])ondered o'er. 
Hints faintly at a life before. 



AN INCIDENT IN A RAILROAD CAR. 

He spoke of Bums: men mde and I 

rough 
Pressed round to hear the praise of one 
Whose heart was made of manly, simple 
stuff, 
As homespun as their own. | 



AN INCIDENT IN A RAILROAD CAR. 



45 



And, when he read, they forward 

leaned, 
Drinking, with thirsty hearts and ears. 
His brook -like songs whom glory never 
weaued 
From humble smiles and tears. 

Slowly there grew a tender awe, 
Sun-like, o'er faces brown and hard, 
As if in him who i*ad they felt and saw 
Some presence of the bard. 

It was a sight for sin and wrong 
And slavish tyranny to see, 
A sight to make our faith more pure and 
strong 
In high humanity. 

I thought^ these men will carry hence 
Promptings their former life above, 
And something of a finer reverence 
For beauty, truth, and love. 

God scatters love on every side 
Freely among his children all, 
And idways hearts are lying open wide, 
Wherein some grains may fall. 

There is no wind but soweth seeds 
Of a more true and onen life, 
Which burst, unlooked for, into high- 
souled deeds, 
With wayside beauty rife. 

We find within these souls of ours 
Some wild germs of a higher birth, 
"Which in the poet's tropic heart bear 
flowers 
Whose fragrance fills the earth. 

Within the hearts of all men lie 
These promises of wider bliss. 
Which blossom into hopes that cannot 
die, 
In sunny honrs like this. 

All that hath been majestical 
In life or death, since time began, 
Is native in the simple heart of all, 
The angel heart of man. 

And thus, among the untaught poor, 
Great deeds and feelings find a home. 
That cast in shadow all the golden lore 
Of classic Greece and Rome. 

O, mighty brother-soul of man. 
Where'er thou art, in low or high, 

L. . . 



Thy skyey arches with exulting span 
O'er-roof infinity ! 

All thoughts that mould the age begin 
Deep down within the primitive soul. 
And from the many slowly upwai-d win 
To one who gras{)S tne whole : 

In his wide brain the feeling deep 
That stniffiled on the nianv's tongue 
Swells to a fide of thought, whose surges 
leap 
O'er the weak thrones of wrong. 

All thought begins in feeling, — wide 
In the great mass its base is hid. 
And, narrowing up to thought, stands 
glorified, 
A moveless pyramid. 

Nor is he far astray, who deems 
That every hope, which rises and 
grows broad 
In the world's heart, by ordered impulse 
streams 
From the great heart of God. 

God wills, man hopes: in common 

souls 
Hope is but vague and undefined. 
Till from the poet's tongue the message 
rolls 
A blessing to his kind. 

Never did Poesy appear 
So full of heaven to me, as when 
I saw how it would pierce through pride 
and fear 
To the lives of coarsest men. 

It may be glorious to write 
Thoughts that shall glad the two or 
three 
High souls, like those far stars that 
come in sight 
Once in a century ; — 

But better far it is to speak 
One simple word, which now and then 
Shall waken their free nature in the 
weak 
And friendless sons of men ; 

To write some earnest verse or line. 
Which, seeking not the praise of art, 
Shall make a clearer faith and manhood 

shine 
I In the untutored heart. 



46 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



He who doth this, in verse or proae, 
May be forgotten in his day, 
But surely shall 4>e crowned at last with 
those 
Who live and speak for aye. 



RHOSCUB. 

OoD sends his teachers unto every age, 
To every clime, and every race of men, 
"With revelations titled to their growth 
And shai>e of mind, nor gives the realm 

of Truth 
Into the selfish rule of one sole race : 
Therefore each form of worship that hath 

swayed 
The life of man, and given it to grasp 
The master-key of knowledge, rever- 
ence, 
Infolds some germs of goodness and of 

right; 
Else never had the eager soul, which 

loathes 
The slothful down of pampered igno- 
rance, 
Found in it even a moment's fitful xesL 

There is an instinct in the human 

heart 
Which makes that all the fables it hath 

coined. 
To justifv the reign of its belief 
And strengthen it by beauty's right 

divine. 
Veil in their inner cells a mystic gift, 
Which, like the hazel twig, in faithful 

hands, 
Points surely to the hidden springs of 

truth. 
For, as in nature naught is made in vain. 
But all things have within their hull of 

nae 
A wisdom and a meaning which may 

speak 
Of spiritual secrets to the ear 
Of spirit ; so, in whatsoe'er the heart 
Hath fashioned for a solace to itself, 
To make its inspirations suit its creed, 
And from the niggard hands of falsehood 

wring 
Its needful food of truth, there ever is 
A sympathy with Nature, which reveals, 
Not less than her own works, pure 

gleams of light 
And earnest parables of inward lore. 
Hear now this &iry legend of old Greece, 



As full of freedom, youth, and beauty 

still 
As the immortal freshness of that grace 
Carved for all ages on some Attic frieze. 

A youth named Rhoecus, wandering in 

the wood. 
Saw an old oak just trembling to its fall. 
And, feeling pity of so fair a tree. 
He propped its gray trunk with admir- 
ing care. 
And with a thoughtless footstep loitered 

on. 
But, as he tnnied, he heard a voice be- 
hind 
That murmured ** Rhoecus I " 'T was as 

if the leaves, 
Stirred by a iwssing breath, had mur- 
mured it, 
And, while he paused bewildered, yet 

again 
It murmured "Rhoecus ! " softer than a 

breeze. 
He started and beheld with dizzy eyes 
What seemed the substance of a hajipy 

dream 
Stand there before him, spreading a wami 

glow 
Within the green glooms of the shadowy 

oak. 
It seemed a woman's shape, yet all too 

fair 
To be a woman, and with eyes too meek 
For any that were wont to mate with 

gods. 
All naked like a goddess stood she there. 
And like a goddess all too beautiful 
To feel the guilt- bom earthliness of 

shame. 
" Rhoecus, I am the Dryad of this tree," 
Thus she began, dropping her low-toned 

words 
Serene, and full, and clear, as drops of 

dew, 
*' And with it I am doomed to live and 

die ; 
The rain and sunshine are my caterers, 
Nor have I other bliss than simple life; 
Now ask me what thou ^wilt, that I can 

give. 
And with a thankful joy it shall be 

thine." 

Then Rhoecus, with a flutter at the 
heart. 
Yet, by the prompting of such beauty, 
bold, 



.....J 



BHCECUS. 



47 



I 



Answered: ''What Is there that can 

satisfy 
The endless cntTing of the soul but loye ? 
Give me thy loye, or but the hope of that 
Which must be evennore my natureV 

goal" 
After a little pause she said again. 
But with a glimpae of sadness in her 

tone, 
*' I give it, BhoBcus, though a perilous 

gift; 
An hour before the sunset meet me here.*' 
And straightway there was nothing he 

could see 
But the green glooms beneath the shad- 
owy oak, 
And not a sound came to his straining 

ears 
But the low trickling rustle of the leaves. 
And far away upon an emerald slope 
The falter of an idle shepherd's pipe. 

Now, in those days of simpleness and 

faith. 
Men did not think that happy things 

were dreams 
Because they overstepped the narrow 

bourn 
Of likelihood, but reverently deemed 
Nothinff too wondrous or too beautiful 
To be the guerdon of a daring heart 
So KhoBCus made no doubt that he was 

blest. 
And all alonff unto the city's gate 
Earth seemed to spring beneath him as 

he walked. 
The clear, broad sky looked bluer than 

its wont. 
And he could scarce believe he had not 

wings. 
Such sunshine seemed to glitter through 

his veins 
Instead of blood, so light he felt and 

strange. 



Toang Rhoecns had a faithful heart 
I enough, 

I But one tmit in the present dwelt too 
much, 
And, taking with blithe welcome what- 
soe'er 
Chance gave of joy, was wholly bound 

in that, 
Like the contented peasant of a vale, 
Deemed it the world, and never looked 

beyond. 
So, haply meeting in the afternoon 



Some comrades who were playing at the 
dice, 

He joined them, and foigot all else be- 
side. 

The dice were rattling at the mer- 
riest, 

And Rhcecus, who had met but sorry 
luck. 

Just laughed in triumph at a happy 
throw, 

When through the room there hummed 
a yellow bee 

That buzzed about his ear with down- 
dropped legs 

As if to light. And Rhcecus laughed 
and said, 

Feeling how red and flushed he was with 
loss, 

" By Venus ! does he take me for a 
rose!'* 

And brushed him off with rough, im- 
patient hand. 

But still the bee came back, and thrice 
again 

Rhoecus did beat him off with growing 
» wrath. 

Then through the window flew the 
wounded bee. 

And Rhoecus, tracking him with angry 
eyes. 

Saw a sharp mountain-peak of Thcssaly 

Against the red disk of tne setting sun , — 

And instantly the blood sank from his 
heart. 

As if its very walls had caved away. 

Without a word he turned, and, rushing 
forth. 



Ran madly through the city and the gate, 
And o'er the plain, which now the wood's 

long shade. 
By the low sun thrown forward broad 

and dim. 
Darkened wellnigh unto the city's walL 

Quite spent and out of breath he 
reached the tree, 

And, listening fearfully, he heard once 
more 

The low voice murmur "Rhoecus 1 " close 
at hand : 

Whereat he looked around him, but could 
see 

Naught but the deepening glooms be- 
neath the oak. 

Then sighed the voice, " Rhoocus ! 
nevermore 



.. . J 



I EMOW a falcon swift and peerlen 
Aa e'er wus cradled in the pine; 

No bird had ever eye so fearless. 
Or ning so strong as this of min 



are there other gilts more fair than 
!»n 1 count him happiest who haa 



A GLANCE BEHIND THE CURTAIN. 



49 



I 



I 



1 



Been forced with his own hand his chains 

to sever, 
And for himself find oat the way divine ; 
He never knew the aspirer's glorious 

pains. 
He never earned the struggle's priceless 

r'ns. 
by block, with sore and sharp 
endeavor. 
Lifelong we build these human natures 

up 
Into a temple fit for freedom*s shrine, 
And Trial ever consecrates the cup 
Wherefrom we pour her sacrificial wine. 



A OLAKCS BEHIND THE CUBTAIN. 

We see but half the causes of our deeds, 
Seeking them wholly in the outer life. 
And heedless of the encircling spirit- 
world. 
Which, though unseen, is felt, and sows 

in us 
All gerras of pure and world-wide pur- 
poses. 
From one stage of our beinff to the next 
We pass unconscious o*er a sfender bridge. 
The momentary work of unseen hands. 
Which crumbles down behind us ; look- 
ing back, 
We see the other shore, the gulf between, 
And, marvelling how we won to where 

we stand, 
Content ourselves to call the builder 

Chance. 
We trace the wisdom to the apple's fall, 
Not to the birth-throes of a mighty 

Truth 
Which, for long ages in blank Chaos 

dumb. 
Yet yearned to be incarnate, and had 

found 
At last a spirit meet to be the womb 
From which it might be bom to bless 

mankind, — 
Not to the soul of Newton, ripe with all 
The hoarded thoughtfulness of earnest 

years. 
And waiting but one ray of sunlight 

more 
To blossom fully. 

But whence came that ray ? 
We call our sorrows Destiny, but ought 
Bather to name our high successes so. 
Only the instincts of great souls are Fate, 

4 



And have predestined sway : all other 

things. 
Except b^ leave of us, could never be. 
For Destiny is but the breath of God 
Still moving in us, the last fragment left 
Of our unfallen nature, waking oft 
Within our thought, to beckon us be- 
yond 
The narrow circle of the seen and known, 
And always tending to a noble end, 
As all things must that overrule the soul. 
And for a space unseat the helmsman, 

wm. 

The fate of England and of freedom once 
Seemed wavenng in the heart of one 

plain man : 
One step of his, and the great dial-hand. 
That marks the destined progress of the 

world 
In the eternal round from wisdom on 
To higher wisdom, had been made to 

pause 
A hunared yeare. That step he did not 

take, — 
He knew not why, nor we, but only 

God,— 
And lived to make his simple oaken chair 
More terrible and grandly beautiful. 
More full of nujesty than any throne. 
Before or after, of a British King. 

Upon the pier stood two stem-visaged 

men. 
Looking to where a little crall lay 

moored, 
Swayed by the lazy current of the 

Thames, 
Which weltered by in muddy listlessness. 
Grave men they were, and battlings of 

fierce thought 
Had trampled out all softness from their 

brows. 
And ploughed rough furrows there before 

their time. 
For other crop than such as homebred 

Peace 
Sows broadcast in the willing soil of 

Youth. 
Care, not of self, but of the common- 
weal. 
Had robbed their eyes of youth, and left 

instead 
A look of patient power and iron will. 
And something fiercer, too, that gave 

broad hint 
Of the plain weapons girded at their 

sides. 



I 

0D8 POEMa 

' Will Dot IKJ. Ko. to please a wanrard 

king. 
Nor will the wiuds tam traitors it hia 

beck: 
All tbinga are fitly cared Tor, anil the 

Lord 
Will «Btch ui kindly o'r>r thf pinlnx 
or D9 his servRDlB now, aa in uM tiii><>. 
We have no cloud or tin-, ami Imply irp 
May not paaa dry-shod through thn 

Bnt, larM or lest, ^1 things are in Hia 

So apalCR he, and mnntime the othrr 

With wide gray ejea atil) reading the 

blank air, 
Aa if upon the sky's blue n-all he mw 
Some mystic eentenre, written by a hand, . 
Such as of old made pale lh« Assyrian ' 

Qirtwithhissatnipsli] the blazing leasl. ' 

"HamftenI a moment since, mj 
purpose WIS 
I To fly with tliee, — Tot I will call it 
I flight. 

Nor flatter it with any smoother name, — 
But something in me bids me not to ^o ; 
And I am onc^ thou knowest, who, un- 

By what the weak deem omeoa, yet give 

And reverence due towhatsoe'er my sor.l 
Whispera of warning to the inner «r. 
Moreover, as I know that God brings 

His porposei in ways undreameil by n». 
And makes the wicked but hia inatm- 

To hasten their own awift and sadden fall, 

1 see the beauty of hia providence 

In the King's order : blind, he will not 

let 
His doom part from him, bnt must bi>) 

As 't were a cricket, whose enlivening 

Heloved to hear beneath bis very hearth. 
Why should we flyt Nav, why not 

rather stay 
And rear again onr Zion's crumUed 

Not, u of old the walls of Thebes v 

bailt. 
By minstrel twanging, but, if need 

abould be. 



A GLANCE BKHIND THE CURTAIN. 



51 



With the more potent music of our 

swords? 
Think*8t thou that score of men beyond 

the sea 
Claim more God*s care than all of Eng- 
land here ? 
No: when he moves His arm, it is to 

aid 
Whole peoples, heedless if a few be 

crushed. 
As some are ever, when the destiny 
Of man takes one stride onward nearer 

home. 
Believe it^ 'tis the mass of men He 

loves; 
And, where there is most sorrow and 

most want. 
Where the high heart of man is trodden 

down 
The most, *t is not because He hides his 

face 
From them in wi'ath, as purblind teach- 
ers prate : 
Not so : there most is He, for there is 

He 
Most needed. Men who seek for Fate 

abroad 
Are not so near His heart as they who 

dare 
Frankly to face her where she faces them, 
On theirown threshold, where their souls 

are strong 
To grapple with and throw her; as 1 

once. 
Being yet a boy, did cast this pnnv king. 
Who now has grown so dotard as to 

deem 
That he can wrestle with an angry realm. 
And throw the brawned Antffiua of men's 

rights. 
No, Hampden ! they have half-way con- 
quered Fate 
Who go half-way to meet her, — as 

will I. 
Freedom hath yet a work for me to do ; 
So speaks that inward voice which never 

yet 
Spake falsely, when it urged the spirit 

on 
To noble deeds for country and mankind. 
And, for success, I ask no more than 

this, — 
To bear unflinching witness to the tnith. 
All true whole men succeed ; for what is 

worth 
Success's name, unless it be the thought, 
The inward surety, to have carried out 



A noble purpose to a noble end. 
Although it be the callows or the block ? 
'T is only Falsehood that doth ever need 
These outward shows of gain to bolster 

her. 
Be it we prove the weaker with our 

swords ; 
Truth only needs to be for once spoke 

out. 
And there's such music in her, such 

strange rhythm, 
As makes men's memories her joyous 

slaves, 
And clings around the soul, as the sky 

clings 
Round the mute earth, forever beauti- 
ful. 
And, if o'erclouded, only to burst forth 
More all-em bracingly divine and clear : 
Oet but the truth once uttered, and 't is 

like 
A star new-bom, that drops into its 

place. 
And wnich, once circling in its placid 

round, 
Not all the tumult of the earth can 

shake. 

"What should we do in that small 
colony 

Of pinched fanatics, who would rather 
choose 

Freedom to clip an inch more from their 
hair. 

Than the great chance of setting Eng- 
land free I 

Not there, amid the stormy wilderness, 

Should we learn wisdom ; or if learned, 
what room 

To put it into act, — else worse than 
naught? 

We learn our souls more, tossing for an 
hour 

Upon this huge and ever-vexed sea 

Of human thought, where kingdoms go 
to wreck 

Like fragile bubbles yonder in the 
stream. 

Than in a cycle of New England sloth, 

Broke only by some petty Indian war. 

Or quarrel for a letter more or less 

In some hard word, which, s])elt in 
either way, 

Not their most learned clerks can un- 
derstand. 

New times demand new measures and 
new men; 



62 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



The world advanceB, and in time out- 
grows 
The laws that in our fathers' day were 

best; 
And, doubtless, after us, some purer 

scheme 
Will be shaped out by wiser men than 

we, 
Made wiser by the steady growth of 

truth. 
We cannot bring Utopia by force ; 
But better, almost, be at work in sin. 
Than in a brute inaction browse and 

sleep. 
No man is bom into the world, whose 

work 
Is not bom with him; there is always 

work. 
And tools to work withal, for those who 

will ; 
And blessed are the horny hands of toil ! 
The busy world shoves angrily aside 
The man who stands with arms akimbo 

set, 
Until occasion tells him what to do ; 
And he who waits to have his task 

marked out 
Shall die and leave his errand unfalfilled. 
Our time is one that calls for earnest 

deeds: 
Reason and Government, like two broad 

seas, 
Yearn for each other with outstretched 

arms 
Across this narrow isthmus of the throne. 
And roll their white surf higher every 

day. 
One age moves onward, and the next 

builds up 
Cities and gorgeous palaces, where stood 
The mde log huts of those who tamed 

the wild. 
Rearing from out the forests they had 

felled 
The goodly framework of a fairer state ; 
The builder's trowel and the settler's axe 
Are seldom wielded by the selfsame 

hand; 
Oui-s is the hanler task, yet not the less 
Shall we receive the blessing for our toil 
From the choice spirits of the aftertime. 
My soul is not a palace of the past, 
Where outworn creeds, like Rome's gray 

senate, quake. 
Hearing afar the Vandal's tranipet hoarse. 
That shakes old systems with a thunder- 
fit 



The time is ripe, and rotten-ripe, for 

change ; 
Then let it come: I have no dread of 

what ' 

Is called for by the instinct of mankind ; 
Nor think I that God's worid will fall 

apart 
Because we tear a parchment more or 

less. 
Tmth is eternal, bu^ her effluence, 
With endless change is fitted to the 

hour ; 
Her mirror is turned forward to reflect 
The ])romise of the future, not the ] ast. 
He who would win the name of tmly 

great 
Must understand his own age and the 

next. 
And make the present ready to fulfil 
Its prophecv, and with the futuiv merge 
Gently and peacefully, as wave with 

wave. 
The future works out great men's des- ' 

tinies ; 
The present is enough for common souls, i 
Who, never looking forward, are indeed 
Mere clay, wherem the footprints of 

their age 
Are petrified forever : better those 
Who lead the blind old giant by the 

hand 
From out the pathless desert- where he ; 

gropes. 
And set him onward in his darksome , 

way. 
I do not fear to follow out the tmth. 
Albeit along the precipice's edge. 
Let us speaK plain : tnere is more force 

in names 
Than most men dream of ; and a lie may 

keep 
Its throne a whole age longer, if iffsknlk 
Behind the shield of some fair-seeming 

name. 
Ijet us call tyrants iyrantSj and main- 
tain 
That only freedom comes by grace of 

God, 
And all that comes not by his grace mn&t 

fall ; 
For men in earnest have no time to waste 
In patching fig-leaves for tlie naked 

tmth. * 

" I will have one more grapple with 
the man 
Charles Stuart : whom the boy o'ercame. 



I— 



A} GLANCE BEHIND THE CUBTAJN. 



53 



The man stands not in awe of. I, per- 
chance. 
Am one raised up by the Almighty arm 
To witness some great truth to all the 

world. 
Souls destined to oVrleap the vulgar lot, 
And mould the world unto the scheme 

of God, 
Have a fore-consciousness of their high 

doom. 
As men are known to shiver at the heart 
When the cold shadow of some coming 

ill 
Creeps slowly o'er their spirits unawares. 
Hath Good less iwwer ot prophecy than 

111? 
How else could men whom God hath 

calle<l to sway 
Earth's rudder, and to steer the bark of 

Truth, 
Beating against the tempest tow'rd her 



Jiort, 
1 till 



Bear all the mean and buzzing griev- 
ances, 

The petty martyrdoms, wherewith Sin 
strives 

To weary out the tethered hope of Faith, 

The sneers, the unrecogniziug look of 
friends. 

Who worship the dead corpse of old king 
Custom, 

Where it doth lie in state within the 
Church, 

Striving to cover up the mighty ocean 

With a man's palm, and making even 
the truth 

Lie for them, holding up the glass re- 
versed. 

To make the hope of man seem farther 
off? 

My God ! when I read o'er the bitter lives 

O/ men whose eager hearts were quite 
too great 

To beat beneath the cramped mode of 
the day. 

And see them mocked at by the world 
th«y love. 

Haggling with prejudice for penny- 
worths 

Of that reform which their hard toil will 
make 

The common birthright of the age to 
come, — 

When I see this, spite of my faith in 
God, 

I marvel how their hearts bear np so 
long; 



Nor could they but for this same proph- 
ecy. 
This inward feeling of the glorious end. 

**Deem roe not fond; but in my 

warmer youth. 
Ere my heart's bloom was soiled and 

brushed away, 
I had great dreams of mighty things to 

come; 
Of conquest, whether by the sword or 

pen 
I knew not ; but some conquest I would 

have. 
Or else swift death : now wiser grown in 

years, 
I find youth's dreams are but the flut- 

terings 
Of those strong wings whereon the soul 

shall soar 
In after time to win a starry throne ; 
And so I cherish them, for they were lots. 
Which I, a boy, cast in the helm of 

Fate. 
Now will I draw them, since a man's 

right hand, 
A right hand ^ided by an earnest soul. 
With a true mstinct, takes the golden 

prize 
From out a thousand blanks. What 

men call luck 
Is the prero^tive of valiant souls. 
The fealty life pays its rightful kings. 
The helm is shalcing now, and I will stay 
To pluck my lot forth ; it were siu to 

tteel'* 

So they two turned together ; one to 

die, 
Fighting for freedom on the bloody field ; 
The other, far moi-e hanpy, to become 
A name earth wean rorever next her 

heart; 
One of the few that have a right to rank 
With the tnie Makers: for his spirit 

wrought 
Order from Chaos; proved that right 

divine 
Dwelt only in the excellence of tnith ; 
And far within old Darkness* hostile 

lines 
Advanced and pitched the shining tents 

of Light. 
Nor shall the grateful Muse forget to 

tell. 
That — not the least among his many 

claims 



^ « • ■ 



r — " 

I 54 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



To deathless honor — he was Milton*s 

Irieiiil, 
A man not second among those who 

lived 
To show us that the poet's lyre demands 
An arm of tougher sinew than the sword. 



A CHIPPEWA LEGEND.* 

aAyciMi iLty /lot itaX Aryciv «<mv rait 

JilscHVLCs, Pron^ Vind. 197, 108w 

The old Chief, feeling now wellnigh 

his end, 
Called his two eldest children to his side. 
And gave them, in few words, his parting 

charge ! 
** My son and daughter, me ye see no 

moi'e; 
The happy hunting-grounds await me, 

green 
With change of spring and summer 

through the year : 
But, for remembrance, after I am gone. 
Be kind to little Slieenmh for mv t>ake : 
Weakling he is and young, and knows 

not yet 
To set the trap, or draw the seasoned 

bow ; 
Therefore of both j'our loves he hath 

more need, 
And he, who needeth love, to love hath 

right ; 
It is not like our furs and stores of com. 
Whereto we claim sole title by our toil. 
But tlie Great Spirit plants it in our 

hearts, 
And waters it, and gives it sun, to be 
The common stock and heritage of all : 
Therefore l>e kind to Sheemah, that 

Yourselves 
May not be left deserted in your need." 

Alone, beside a lake, their wigwam 

stood, 
Far from the other dwellings of their 

tril)e ; 
And, after many moons, the loneliness 
W»'aricd the elder brother, and he said, 
*• Why should I dwell here all alone, 

shut out 
From the free, natural joys that fit my 

age? 

• For the leading; inoidi'nts In this tale I 
mil indohted to tlie very vjiluable " Algic 
Reseai-cUes "of Henry K. ttchooluraft, Esq. 



Lo, I am tall and strong, well skilled to 

hunt, 
Patient of toil and hunger, and not yet 
Have seen the danger which I dared not 

look 
Full in the face ; what hinders me to be 
A mighty Brave and Chief among my 

kin?" 
So, taking up his ari'ows and his bow. 
As if to hunt, he journeyed swiftly on. 
Until he gained the wigwams of his 

tribe. 
Where, choosing out a bride, he soon 

foi^ot, 
In all the fret and bustle of new life. 
The little Sheemah and his father's 

chaise. 

Now when the sister found her brother 

gone. 
And that, for many days, he came not 

back. 
She wept for Sheemah more than for 

herself ; 
For Love bides longest in a woman's 

heart, 
And flutters many times before he flies. 
And then doth perch so nearly, that a 

word 
May lure him back, as swift and glad as 

light ; 
And Duty lingers even when Love is 

gone. 
Oft looking out in hope of his return ; 
And, after Duty hath lieen driven foith. 
Then Selfishness creeps in the last of all. 
Warming her lean hands at the lonely 

hearth. 
And crouching o'er the embers, to shut 

out 
Whatever paltr}' warmth and light are 

left. 
With avaricious greed, from all beside. 
So, for long months, the sister hunted 

wide, 
And cared for little Sheemah tenderly ; 
But, daily more and more, the loneline^ 
Grew wenrisome, and to hei*self she 

sighed, 
"Am 1 not fair? at least the glassy pool. 
That hath no cause to Hatter, tells me f.o ; 
Hut, 0, how fiat and meaningless the tale. 
Unless it tremble on a lover's tongue ! 
Beauty hath no true glass, exce)>t it be 
In the sweet ]>rivacy of loving eyes." 
Thus deemed she idly, and forgot the 

lore 



A CmPPEWA LEGEND. 



55 



Which she had learned of nature and the 

woods, 
That beauty's chief reward is to itself, 
And that the eyes of Love reflect alone 
The inward faimess, which is blurred 

and lost 
Unless kept clear and white by Duty's 

care. 
So she went forth and sought the haunts 

of men, 
And, being wedded, in her household 

cares, 
Soon, like the elder brother, quite forgot 
The little Sheemah and her father's 

charge. 

But Sheemah, left alone within the 

loiige, 
Waited and * waited, with a shrinking 

heart. 
Thinking each rustle was his sister's step, 
Till hofie grew less and less, and then 

went ont, 
And every sound was changed from hope 

to fear. 
Few sounds there were : — the dropping 

of a nut. 
The souirrel's chirrup, and the jay's 

narsh scream,' 
Autumn's sad remnants of blithe Sum- 
mer's cheer, 
Heard at long intervals, seemed but to 

make 
The dreadful void of silence silenter. 
Soon what small store his sister left was 

gone. 
And, through the Autumn, he made shift 

to live 
On roots and berries, gathered in much 

fear 
Of wolves, whose ghastly howl he heard 

ofttinies. 
Hollow and hungry, at the dead of night. 
But Winter came at last, and, when the 

snow. 
Thick -heaiied for gleaming leagues o'er 

hill and plain. 
Spread its unbroken silence over all, 
Maile l>old by hunger, he was fain to 

glean 
(More sick at heart than Ruth, and all 

alone) 
After the harvest of the merciless wolf, 
Grim Hoaz, who, sharp-ribbed and gaunt, 

yet feared 
A thing more wild and starring than 

himself; 



Till, by degrees, the wolf and he grew 

friends. 
And shared together all the winter 

through. 

Late in the Spring, when all the ice 

was gone, 
The elder brother, fishing in the lake, 
Upon whose edge his father's wigwam 

stood. 
Heard a low moaning noise upon the 

shore : 
Half like a child it seemed, half like a 

wolf, 
And straightway there was something in 

his heart 
That said, '* It is thy brother Sheemah's 

voice." 
So, paddling swiftly to the bank, he saw. 
Within a little tliicket close at hand, 
A child that seemed fast clianging to a 

wolf. 
From the neck downward, gray with 

shaggy hair. 
That still crept on and upward as he 

looked. 
The face was turned away, but well he 

knew 
That it was Sheemah's, even his bro*^h- 

er's face. 
Then with his trembling hands he hid 

his eyes. 
And bowed his head, so that he might 

not see 
The first look of his brother's eyes, and 

cried, 
" Sheemah ! my brother, speak to 

me! 
Dost thou not know me, that I am thy 

brother? 
Come to me, little Sheemah, thou shalt 

dwell 
With me hencefoi'th, and know no cai-e 

or want ! " 
Sheemah was silent for a sfMce, as if 
T were hard to summon up a hunia7i 

voice. 
And, when he spake, the sound was of 

a wolfs : 
**I know thee not, nor art thou what 

thou say'st ; 
I have none other brethren tlian the 

wolves. 
And, till thy heart be changed from 

what it is, 
. Thou art not worthy to be called their 

kin." 



56 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMa 



Then groaned the other, with a choking 

tongue, 
''Alas! my heart is changed ri^t bit- 
terly; 
'T is shrunk and parched within me 

even now!" 
And, looking upward fearfully, he saw 
Only a wolf that shrank away and ran. 
Ugly and fierce, to hide among the 
woods. 



VTAXZAB OK FKEEDOK. 

Men ! whose boast it is that ye 
Come of fathers brave and free, 
If there breathe on earth a slave, 
Are ye truly free and brave? 
If ye do not feel the chain. 
When it works a brother's pain. 
Are ye not base slaves indeed, 
Slaves unworthy to be freed f 

Women I who shall one day bear 
Sons to breathe New England air. 
If ye hear, without a blush, 
Dee<ls to make the roused blood rush 
Like red lava through your veins, 
For your sisters now in chains, — 
Answer ! are ye fit to be 
Mothers of the brave and free T 

Is tnie Freedom but to break 
Fetters for our own dear sake, 
And, with leathern hearts, foiget 
That we owe mankind a debt ? 
No ! true freedom is to share 
All the chains our brothers wear, 
And, with heart and hand, to be 
Earnest to make others free 1 

They are slaves who fear to speak 
For the fallen and the weak ; 
They are slaves who will not choose 
Hatred, s(*ofIing, and abuse, 
Rjither than in silence shrink 
From the truth they needs must think ; 
They are slaves who dare not be 
In the right with two or three. 



C0LX7MBUB. 

The cordage creaks and rattles in the 
wind, 

With whims of sadden hush ; the reel- 
ing sea 



Now thumps like solid rock beneath the 

stem. 
Now leaps with clumsy wrath, strikes 

short, and, falling 
Cnimbled to whispery foam, sUpa nis- 

tling down 
The broad backs of the waves, which 

jostle and crowd 
To fling themselves upon that unknown 

shore. 
Their used familiar since the dawn of 

time. 
Whither this foredoomed life is guided 

on 
To sway on triumph's hushed, aspiring 

poise 
One glittering moment, then to break 

fulfilled. 

How lonely .is the sea's perpetual swing. 
The melancholy wash of endless waves. 
The sigh of some grim monster nnde- 

scried, 
Fear-painted on the canvas of the dark. 
Shifting on his uneasy pillow of brine ! 
Yet night brings more companions than 

the day 
To this drear waste ; new constellations 

bum. 
And fairer stars, with whose calm height 

my soul 
Finds nearer sympathy than with my 

herd 
Of earthen souls, whose vision's scanty 

ring 
Makes me its prisoner to beat my ^ings 
Against the cold bars of their unbe- i 

lief, 1 

Knowing in vain my own free heaven - 

beyond. 
God ! this world, so crammed with . 

eager life, . 

That comes and goes and wanders back I 

to sile.nce ■ 

Like the idle wind, which yet man's | 

shaping mind ; 

Can make his dradge to swell the long- i 

ing sails 
Of highest endeavor, — this mad, un- 

thrift world, 
Which, every hour, throws life enough 

away 
To make her deserts kind and hospita- 
ble, 
I^ets her great destinies be waved aside 
By smooth, lip-reverent, formal infi- 
dels, 



COLUMBUS. 



57 



Who weigh the God they not belieye 

with gold. 
And find no spot in Judas, save that he, 
Driving a duller bar^in than he ought. 
Saddled his guild with too cheap prece- 
dent. 
O Faith ! if thoa art strong, thine oppo- 
site 
Is mighty also, and the dull fool's sneer 
Hath ofttimes shot chill palsy through 

the ana 
Just lifted to achieve its crowning deed. 
And made the firm-based heait, that 

would have quailed 
The rack or fagot, shudder like a leaf 
Wrinkled with frost, and loose upon its 

stem. 
The wicked and the weak, by some dark 

law. 
Have a strange power to shut and rivet 

down 
Their own horizon ronnd us, to unwing 
Our heaven-aspiring visions, and to blur 
With surly clouds the Future's gleam- 
ing peaks. 
Far seen across the brine of thankless 

years. 
If the chosen soul could never b3 alone 
In deep mid-silence, open-doored to God, 
No greatness ever had been dreamed or 

done; 
Among dull hearts a prophet never 
' grew; 

The nurse of full-grown souls is soli- 
tude. 

. The old world is effete ; there man with 

man 
Jostles, and, in the brawl for means to 

live. 
Life is trod underfoot, — Life, the one 

block 
Of marble that 's vouchsafed wherefrom 

to carve 
Oar great thoughts, white and godlike, 

to shine down 
The future. Life, the irredeemable block. 
Which one o'er-hasty chisel-dint oft 

mars. 
Scanting our room to cut the features 

out 
Of our full hope, so forcing us to crown 
With a mean nead the perfect limbs, or 

leave 
The god's face glowing o'er a satyr's 

trunk. 
Failure's brief epitaph. 



Yes, Europe's world 
Reels on to judgment; there the com- 
mon need, 
Losing God's aacreil use, to be a bond 
'Twixt Me and Thee, sets each one 

scowlingly 
O'er his own selfish hoard at bay; no 

state. 
Knit strongly with eternal fibres up 
Of all men s separate and united weals, 
Self-ix>ised and sole as stars, yet one as 

light. 
Holds up a shape of large Humanity 
To which by natural instinct every 

man 
Pays loyalty exulting, by which all 
Mould their own lives, and feel their 

pulses filled 
With the red, fiery blood of the general 

life. 
Making them mighty in peace, as now 

in war 
They are, even in the flush of victory, 

weak. 
Conquering that manhood which should 

them subdue. 
And what gift bring I to this untried 

world f 
Shall the same tragedy be played anew, 
And the same lurid curtain drop at 

last 
On one dread desolation, one fierce crash 
Of that recoil which on its makers God 
Lets Ignorance and Sin and Hunger 

make, 
Early or Ute? Or shall that common- 
wealth 
Whose potent unity and concentric force 
Can draw these scattered joints and 

parts of men 
Into a whole ideal man once more, 
Which sucks not from its limbs the life 

away, 
But sends its flood-tide and creates 

itself 
Over again in every citizen, 
Be there built up i For me, I have no 

choice ; 
I might turn back to other destinies. 
For one sincere key opes all Fortune's 

doors; 
But whoso answers not God's earliest 

call 
Forfeits or duUs that faculty supreme 
Of l^ng open to his genius 
Which makes the wise heart certain of 

its ends. 



I 



1 



I 



58 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



Here am I; for what end God knows, 

not I; 
Westward still points the inexorable 

soul: 
Here am I, with no friend but the sad 

sea, 
The beating heart of this great euter- 

piise, 
Which, without me, would stiffen in 

swift death ; 
This have 1 mused on, since mine eye 

could hrst 
Among the stai-s distinguish and with 

joy 

Rest on that God-fed Pharos of the 

north, 
On some blue promontory of heaven 

lighted 
That juts far out into the upper sea ; 
To this one hope my heart hath clung for 

years, 
As would a foundling to the talisman 
Hung round his neck by hands he knew 

not whose ; 
A poor, vile thing and dross to all beside. 
Yet he therein can feel a virtue left 
By the sad pressure of a mother's hand. 
And unto hnn it still is tremulous 
With palpitating haste and wet with 

tears, 
The key to him of hope and humanness, 
The coarse shell of life's pearl, Expect- 
ancy. 
This ho\Hi hath been to me for love and 

fame. 
Hath made me wholly lonely on the 

earth, 
Building me up as in a thick-ribbed 

tower, 
Wherewith enwalled my watching spirit 

burned, 
Conqueiiiig its little island from the 

Dailc, 
Sole as a s(;holar's lamp, and heard men's 

stejis. 
In the far hurry of the outward world, 
Pass dimly forth and back, sounds heartl 

ill dream. 
As Ganymede by the eagle was snatched 

up 
From the gross sod to be Jove's cup- 

besirer. 
So was I lifl<Ml by my ffreat design : 
And who hath trod OTympus, from his 

eye 
Fades not that broader outlook of the 

gods J 



His life's low valleys overbrow earth's 

clouds, 
And that Olympian spectre of the past 
Looms towering up in sovereign memory. 
Beckoning his soul from meaner heights 

of doom. 
Had but the shadow of the Thunderer's 

biixl. 
Flashing athwart my spirit, made of me 
A swift -betraying vision's Ganymeilc, 
Yet to have greatly dreamed precludes 

low ends ; 
Great days have ever such a morning-red. 
On such a base great futures are built up. 
And aspiration, though not put in act. 
Comes back to ask its plighted troth 

again. 
Still watches round its grave the unlaid 

ghost 
Of a dead virtue, and makes other hopes. 
Save that implacable one, seem thin and 

bleak 
As shadows of bare trees upon the snow. 
Bound freezing there by the unpi tying 

moon. 

While other youths perplexed their man- 

dolins. 
Praying that Thetis would her fingers 

twine 
In the loose glories of her lover's hair. 
And wile another kiss to keep back day, 
I, stretched beneath the tnany-centuried 

shade 
Of some writhed oak, the wood's Lao- 

coon. 
Did of my hope a dryad mistress make. 
Whom I would woo to meet me privily. 
Or imderneath the stars, or when the 

moon 
Flecked all the forest floor with seattc^reil 

l)earls. 

days whose memory tames to fawning 

down 
The surly fell of Ocean's bristled neck ! 

1 know not when this hope enthralled 

me first. 
But from my Iwyhood up I loved to hear 
The tall pine-forests of tlie A])enuine 
Murmur their hoary legends of the sea. 
Which hearing, I in vision clear beheld 
The sudden dark of tropic night shut 

down 
O'er the huge whisper of great watery 

wastes. 
The while a pair of h^h>us trailingly 



COLUMBUa 



59 



I 

1 



Flapped inland, where some leagne-wide 

river hurled 
The yellow spoil of unconjectured realms 
Far through a gulfs green silence, never 

scarred 
By any but the North-wind's hunyiug 

keels. 
And not the pines alone ; all sights and 

sounds 
To my world-seeking heart paid fealty, 
And catered for it as the Cretan bees 
Brought honey to the baby Jupiter, 
Who in his soft hand crushed a violet, 
Godlike foremusing the rough thunder's 

griDe; 
Then did I entertain the poet's song. 
My great Idea's guest, and, iMissing o'er 
That iron bridge the Tuscan built to hell, 
I heard Ulysses tell of mountain -chains 
Whose adamantine links, his manacles. 
The western main shook growling, and 

still gnawed. 
I brooded on the wise Athenian's tale 
Of happy Atlantis, and heard Bjome's 

fct»el 
Crunch the gray pebbles of the Vinland 

shore : 
For I believed the poets ; it is they 
Who utter wisdom from the central deep, 
And, listening to the innerflow of things, 
S|)eak to the age out of eternity. 

Ah me ! old hermits sought for solitude 
In caves and desert places of the earth. 
Where their own heart- beat was the only 

stir 
Of living thing that comforted the year ; 
But the bald pillar-top of Simeon, 
In midnight's blankest waste, were pop- 
ulous, 
^latched with the isolation drear and 

deep 
Of him who pines among the swarm of 

men, 
At once a new thought's king and pris- 

oner. 
Feeling the truer life within his life, 
The fonntahi of his spirit's prophecy. 
Sinking away and wasting, uix>pbydrop, 
In the ungrateful sands of sceptic ears. 
He in the palace-aisles of untrod woods 
Doth walk a king ; for him the pent-up 

cell 
Widens beyond the circles of the stars. 
And all the sceptred Kpirits of the past 
Come thronging in to greet him as their 

peer; 



But in the market-place's glare and 

throng 
He sits apait, an exile, and his brow 
Aches with the mocking memory of its 

crown. 
But to the spirit select there is no choice ; 
He cannot say. This will I do, or that. 
For the cheap means ])utting Heaven's 

ends in pawn. 
And bartering his bleak rocks, the free- 
hold st4'm 
Of destiny's tii'st-bom, for smoother fields 
That yield no crop of self-denying will ; 
A hand is stretched to him fixim out the 

dark, 
Wliich grasping without q^uestion, he is 

led 
Where there is work that he must do for 

God. 
The trial still is the strength's comple- 
ment. 
And the uncertain, dizzy path that scales 
The sheer heights of supremest puri)oses 
Is steei)er to the angel tnan the child. 
Chances have laws as fixed as planets 

have. 
And disappointment's dry and bitter 

root. 
Envy's harsh berries, and the choking 

pool 
Of the world's scorn, are the right 

mother-milk 
To the tough hearts that pioneer their 

kino. 
And break a pathway to those unknown 

realms 
That in the earth's broad shadow lie 

enthralled ; 
Endurance is the crowning qualitv. 
And patience all the passion of 

hearts ; 
These are their stay, and when the leaden 

world 
Sets its hard face against their fateful 

thought. 
And brute strength, like a scornful con- 



passion of great 



oueror. 
Clangs nis huge 



mace down in the other 



scab 



The inspired soul but flings his ^laticnce 
in, 

And slowly that outweighs the ])ondeix)US 
^lol)e, — 

One faith against a whole earth's un- 
belief. 

One soul against the flesh of all man- 
kind. 



60 



MISCELLAKEOUS POEMS. 



I 



Thus ever aeerris it when my soul can hear 
The voice that errs not ; then my tri- 
umph gleams, 
0*er the blauk ocean beckoning, and all 

night 
My heart flies on before me as I sail ; 
Far on 1 see my lifelong enterprise, 
Which rose like Ganges mid tne freezing 

snows 
Of a world's solitude, sweep broadening 

down, 
And, gathering to itself a thousand 

streams, 
Grow sacred ere it mingle with the sea ; 
] see the ungated wall of chaos old. 
With blocks Cyclopean hewn of solid 

night, 
Fade like a wreath of unretnming mist 
Before the irreversible feet of light ; — 
And lo, with what clear omen in the east 
On day's gray threshold stands the eager 

dawn. 
Like voung Leander rosy from the sea 
Glowing at Hero's lattice ! 

One day more 
These muttering shoalbiains leave the 

helm to me : 
God, let me not in their dull ooze be 

stranded ; 
Let not this one frail bark, to hollow 

which 
I have dug out the pith and sinewy heart 
Of my aspiring life's fnir trunk, be so 
Cast up to warp and blacken in the sun. 
Just as the opposing wind 'gins whistle 

off 
His cheek -swollen pack, and from the 

leaning mast 
Fortune's full sail strains forward ! 



One poor day! — 
Remember whose and not how short it 
is! 

j It is God's day, it is Columbus's. 
. A lavish day I One day, with life and 

heart, 
, Is more than time enough to find a world. 

1844. 



AK INCIDENT 07 THE FIRE AT 
HAMBX7RO. 

The tower of old Saint Nicholas soared 

upward to the skies. 
Like some huge piece of Nature's make, 

the growth of centuries ; 



You could not deem its crowding spires 

a work of human art. 
They seemed to struggle lightward from 

a sturdy living heart. 

Not Nature's self more freely speaks in 

crystal or in oak. 
Than, through the pious builder's hand, 

in that gray pile she spoke ; 
And as fix>m a<rom springs the oak, so, 

freely and alone. 
Sprang from his heai-t this hymn to God, 

sung in obedient stone. 

It seemed a wondrous freak of chance, so 

I)erfect, yet so rough, 
A whim of Nature crystallized slowly in 

granite tough ; 
The thick spires yearned towards the sky 

in quaint harmonious lines, 
And in broad sunlight basked and slept* 

like a grove of blasted pines. 

Never did rock or stream or tree lay claim 

with better right 
To all the adorning sympathies of shadow 

and of light ; 
And, in that forest petrified, as forester 

tliere dwells 
Stout Herman, the old sacristan, sole 

lord of all its bells. 

Surge leaping after surge, the fire roared 
onward red as blo^, 

Till half of Hambui^ lay engulfed be- 
neath the eddying flood ; 

For miles away the fiery spray poured 
down its deadly rain, 

And back and forth the billows sucked* 
and paused, and burst again. 

From square to square with tiger leaps 

panteil the lustful fire. 
The air to leeward shuddered with the 

ga.sps of its defiire ; 
And church and palace, which even now 

stood whelmed but to the knee. 
Lift their black roofs like bi^eakers lone 

amid the whirling sea. 

Up in his tower old Herman sat and 

watched with quiet look ; 
His soul had trusted God too long to be 

at la.st forsook ; 
He could not fear, for surely God a path- 

wav would unfold 
Through this red sea for faithful hearts, 

as once he did of old. 



THE SOWER. — HUNGER AND COLD. 



61 



I 



Bat scarcely can be croea himself, or on 

his good saint call. 
Before toe sacril^oas flood o*erleaped 

the churchyard wall ; 
And, ere a paier half was said, mid smoke 

and crackling glare, 
His island tower scarce jnts its head 

above the wide despair. 

Upon the peril's desperate peak bis heart 
stood up sublime ; 

HLs first thought was for God above, his 
next was for his chime ; 

*' Sing now and make your voices heard 
in hymns of praise," cried he, 

'' As did the Israelites of old, safe walk- 
ing through the sea ! 

"Through this red sea onr God hath 

made the pathway safe to shore ; 
Oor promised land stands full in sight ; 

shont now as ne'er before ! " 
And as the tower came crushing down, 

the bells, in clear accord. 
Pealed forth the grand qM German 

hymn, — "All good souls, praise 

the Lord ! " 



THE SOWER. 

I SAW a Sower walking slow 
Across the earth, from east to west ; 
His hair was white as mountain snow, 
HLs head drooped forward on his breast. 

With shrivelled hands he flung his seed, 
Nor ever turned to look behind ; 
Of sight or sound he took no heed ; 
It seemed he was both deaf and blind. 

His dim face showed no soul beneath, 
Yet in my heart I felt a stir, 
As if 1 looked upon the sheath 
That once had clasped Excallbur. 

I heard, as still the seed he cast. 
How, crooning to himself, he sung, 
** 1 sow again the holy Past, 
The happy days when I was young. 



"Then all was wheat without a tare. 
Then all was righteous, fair, and true ; 
And I am he whose thoughtful care 
Shall plant the Old World in the New. 

"The fruitful germs I scatter free. 
With busy hand, while all men sleep ; 



In Europe now, from sea to sea, 
The nations bless me as they reap." 



Then I looked back along his path. 
And heard the clash of steel on steel. 
Where man faced man, in deadly wrath. 
While clanged the tocsin's hurr}'ing peal. 

The sky with burning towns flared retl. 
Nearer the noise of fighting rolled. 
And brothers' blood, by bi-othei-s shetl. 
Crept curdling over pavements cold. 

Then marked I how each germ of truth 
Which through the dotara s fingers mn 
Was mated with a dragon's tooth 
Whence there sprang up an armed man. 

I shouted, but he could not hear ; 
Made signs, but these he could not see ; 
And still, without a doubt or fear, 
Broadcast he scattered anarchy. 

Long to my straining ears the blast 
Brought faintly back the words he 

sung: 
" I sow again the holy Past, 
The happy days when I was young." 



HUNQER AND COLD. 

Sisters two, all praise to yon, 
With your faces pinched and blue ; 
To the poor man you 've been true 

From of old : 
You can speak the keenest word. 
You are sure of being heanl, 
From the pc^nt you re never stirred. 

Hunger and Cold ! 

Let sleek statesmen temporize ; 
Palsied are their shifts and lies 
When they meet your bloodshot eyes. 

Grim and bold ; 
Policy you set at naught, 
In their traps you '11 not be caught. 
You 're too honest to be bought, 

Hunger and Cold ! 

Bolt and bar the palace door ; 
While the mass of men are poor, 
Naked truth grows more and more 

Uncontrolled ; 
Yon had never yet, I guess. 
Any praise for bashfulness, 
You can visit sans court-dress, 

Hunger and Cold I 



62 



MISCELLAliEOUB POEMS. 



While the music fell and rose, 
And the dance reeled to its doae. 
Where her round of costly woes 

Fashion strolled, 
I beheld with shuddering fear 
Wolves' eyes through the windows peer ; 
Little dream they you are near, 

Hunger and Cold ! 

When the toiler's heart you clutch, 
Conscience is not valued much, 
He recks not a bloody smutch 

On his gold : 
Everything to you defers, 
You "are jjotent reason ers, 
At your whisper Treason stirs, 

Hunger and Cold t 

Kude comparisons you draw, 
Words refuse to sate your maw, 
Your gaunt limbs the cobweb law 

Cannot hold : 
You *re not clogged with foolish pride, 
But can seize a right denied : 
Somehow Ood is on your side. 

Hunger and CoJ(l 1 

You respect no hoary wrong 
More for having triumphed long ; 
Its past victims, haegard throng. 

From the moulu 
You unbury : swords and spears 
Weaker are than poor men's tears, 
Weaker than your silent years, 

Hunger and Cold ! 

Let them guard both hall Und bower ; 
Through the window^ you will glower, 
Patient till your reckoning hour 

Shall be tolled ; 
Cheeks are pale, but hands are red, 
Guiltless blood may chance be shed. 
But ye muKt and will be fed. 

Hunger and Cold ! 

Ood has plans man must not spoil, 
Some were made to starve and toil. 
Some to share the wine and oil. 

We are told: 
Devil's theories are these. 
Stifling hofie and love and peace, 
Framed your hideous lusts to please. 

Hunger and Cold ! 

Scatter ashes on thy head, 
Tears of burning sorrow shed. 



Earth ! and be by Pity led 

To Love's fold ; 
Ere they block the very door 
With lean corpses of the )ioor. 
And will hush for naught but gore, 

Hunger and Cold ! 

1844. 



THB LANDLORD. 

What boot your houses and your lands? 

In spite of close-drawn deed and fenc«. 
Like water, 't^ixt your cheated hands. 
They slip into the graveyanl's san«ls. 

And mock your ownership's pretence. 

How shall you speak to urge your right. 
Choked with that soil for which you 
lust? 
The bit of clay, for whose delight 
You grasp, is mortgaged, too ; Death 
might 
Foreclose this very day in dust. 

Fence as you please, this plain poor 
man, 

Whose only fields are in his wit, 
Who shapes the world, as best he can. 
According to God's higher plan, 

Owns you, and fences as is fit. 

Though yours the rents, his incomes 
wax 

By right of eminent domain ; 
From factory tall to woodman's axe, 
AH things on earth must psy their tax. 

To feed his hungry heart and brain. 

He takes yon from your easy-chair. 
And wnat he plans that you must 
do; 
You sleep in down, eat dainty fare, — 
He mounts his crazy garret-stair 
And starves, the landlord over you. 

Feeding the clods your idlesse drains. 

You make more green six feet of soil ; 
His fniitful word, like suns and rains. 
Partakes the seasons' bounteous pains. 
And toils to lighten human toil. 

Your lands; with force or cunning got. 
Shrink to the measure of the grave ; 
But Death himself abridges not 
The tenures of almighty thought, 
The titles of the wise and brave. 



TO A PINE-TBEE. — SI DESCENDEEO IN INFERNUM, ADES. 63 



TO A FINE-TREK 

Far np on Katahdin thou towerest, 
Purple-blue with the distance and 
vast; 
Like a cloud o*er the lowlands thon 
lowerest, 
That hangs poised on a lull in the 
blast, 
To its Dedl leaning awful. 

In the stonn, like a prophet o'ennad- 
dened. 
Thou singest and tossest thy branches ; 
Thy heart with the terror is gladdened. 
Thou forebodest the dread avalanches, 
When whole mountains swoop vale- 
ward. 

In the calm thou o'erstretchest the val- 
leys 
With thine arms, as if blessings im- 
ploring, 
Like an old king led forth from his pal- 
ace. 
When his people to battle are pouring 
From the city beneath him. 

To the lumberer asleep 'neath thy gloom- 
ing 
Thou dost sing of wild billows in mo- 
tion. 
Till he longs to be swung mid their boom- 
ing 
In the tents of the Arabs of ocean, 
Whose finned isles are their cattle. 

For the gale snatches thee for his lyre. 
With mad hand crashing melody 
frantic, 
While he pours forth his mighty de- 
sire 
To leap down on the eager Atlantic, 
Whof«e arms stretch to his play- 
mate. 

The wild storm makes his lair in thy 
branches. 
Preying thence on the continent un- 
der ; 
Like a lion, crouched close on his 
haunches, 
There awaiteth his leap the fierce 
thunder, 
Growling low with impatience. 



Spite of winter, thou keep'st thy green 
glory, 
Lusty rather of Titans past number ! 
The snow-Hakes alone make thee hoary. 
Nestling close to thy branches in 
slumber, 
And thee mantling with silence. 

Thou alone know'st the splendor of 
winter, 
Mid thv snow-silvered, hushed pre- 
cipices, 
Hearing crags of green ice groan and 
splinter. 
And then plunge down the muffled 
abysses 
In the quiet of midnight. 

Thou alone know*st the glory of summer, 
Gazing down on thy broad seas of 
forest. 
On thy subjects that send a proud mur- 
mur 
Up to thee, to their sachem, who tow- 
ei^t 
From thy bleak throne to heaven. 



SI DESCENDEBO IN IKFERNUM, ADES. 

0, WANDERING dim ou the extremest 
edge 
Of Goa's bright providence, whose 
spirits sign 
Drearily in you, like the winter sedge 
That shivers o'er the dead pool stiff 

and dry, 
A thin, sad voice, when the bold wind 
roars by 
From the clear North of Duty, — 
Still by cracked arch and broken nbaft I 

trace 
That here was once a shrine and holy 
place 
Of the supernal Beauty, — 
A child's play-altar reared of stones 

and moss. 
With wilted flowers for offering laid 
across. 
Mute recognition of the all-ruling Grace. 

How far are ye from the innocent, from 

those 
Whose hearts are as a little lane serene. 
Smooth-heaped from wall to wall with 

un broke snows, 



Hay Bee your happy perihelion hnm Tho eternal life sends fortli melodious 
Where the calm sun hu unflpilged brenth 

plauets broods. I To clmse the tDUty tenor. 



~'^53S 



J 



66 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



Unlock their fangs and leave bU 
spirit free; 
To thee the Poet mid his toil aspires, 
And grief and hunger climb about his 
knee, 
Welcome as children ; thou npholdest 
The lone Inventor by his demon 
haunted ; 
The Prophet cries to thee when hearts 
are coldest, 
And gazing o*er the midnight's 

bleak abyss, 
Sees the drowsed soul awaken at 
thy kiss, 
And strotch its happy arms and leap np 
disenchanted. 

Thou bringest vengeance, but so loving- 
kindly 
The guilty thinks it pity ; tenght by 
the*, 
Fierce tyrants drop the soouiges where- 
with blindly 
Their o^vn souls they were scarring; 
conquerors see 
With horror in their hands the accursed 
spear 
That tore the meek One*8 side on 
Calvary, 
And fh)m their trophies shrink with 
ghastly fear ; 
Thou, too, art the Foi^giver, 
The beauty of man's soul to man re- 
vealing ; 
The arrows from thy quiver 
Pierce Error's guilty heart, but only 
pierce for healing. 

0, whither, whither, glory-winged 
dreams, 
Fjom out Lily's sweat and turmoil 
would ye bear me ? 
Shut, gates of Fancy, on your golden 
gleams, — 
This agony of hopeless contrast spare 
nip! 
Fade, cheating glow, and leave me to 
my night ! 
He is a coward, who would bor- 
row 
A charm against the present sorrow 
From tho vague Futiure's promise of de- 
light : 
As life's alanims nearer roll. 
The nncestral buckler calls, 
Self-clanging from the walls 
In die high temple of the soul ; 



Where are most sorrows, there the po- 
et's sphere is. 
To feed the soul with patience, 
To heal its desolations 
With words of unshorn truth, with love 
that never wearies. 



I SAW the twinkle of white feet,^ 
I saw the flash of robes descending; 

Before her ran an inttuence flt*et. 
That bowed my heart like barley bend- 
ing. 

As» in bare fields, the searching I^ees 
Pilot to blooms beyond our Auduig, 

It led me on, by sweet degrees 
Joy's simple honey-cells unbinding. 

Those Graoes were that seemed grim 
Fates; 
With nearer love the sky leaned o'er 
me; 
The lone-sought Secret's golden gates 
On musicia hinges swung before me. 

I saw the brimmed bowl in her grasp 
Thrilling with godhood ; like a lover 

I sprang the proffered life to clasp ; — 
The beaker fell ; the luck was over. 

The Earth has drunk the vintage up ; 
, What boots it patch the goblet's splin- 
ters? 
Can Summer fill the icy cup, 
Whose treacherous crystal is bott Win- 
ter's? 

^ndthrift haste ! await the Gods ; 
Their nectar crowns the lips of Pa- 
tience ; 

Haste scatters on unthankful soda 
The immortal gift in vain libations. 

Coy Hebe flies from those that woo. 
And shuns the hands would seize uponL 
her; 

Follow thy life, and she will sue 
To pour for thee the cup of honor. 

THE SEARCH. 

I WENT to seek for Christ, 
And Nature seemed so fair 
That first the woods and fields my youth 
enticedi 



I 



THE PHESBNT CBISIS. 



67 



And I was sare to find him there : 
The temple I forsook. 
And to tne solitnde 
Allegiance paid ; bat Winter came and 
shook 
The crown and pnrple from my 
wood; 
His snows, like desert aands^ with scorn- 
ful drift. 
Besieged the columned aisle and pal- 
ace-gate ; 
Mj Thebes, cut deep with many a sol- 
emn rift. 
Bat epitaphed her own sepulchred 
state: 
Then I remembered whom I went to seeJc, 
And blessed blunt Winter for his coan- 
sel bleak. 

Back to the world I turned. 
For Christ, I said, is King; 
So the cramped alley and the hat I 
spumed. 
As far beneath his sojourning : 
Mid jpower and wealth I sought, 
But found no trace of him, 
And all the costly offerings I had 
brought 
With sudden rust and mould grew 
dim: 
I found his tomb, indeed, where, by 
their laws, 
All nmst on stated days themselres 
imprison. 
Mocking with bread a dead creed's grin- 
ning jaws. 
Witless how long the life had thence 
arisen; 
Dae sacrifice to this they set apart, 
Prizing it mora than Cluast's own living 
heart. 

So from my feet the dust 
Of the proud World 1 shook ; 
Then came dear Love and shared with 
me his crust. 
And half my sorrow's burden took. 
After the World's soft bed. 
Its rich and dainty fare, 
Like down seemed Love's coarse pillow 
to my head. 
His cheap food seemed as manna 
rare; 
Fresh-trodden prints of bare and bleed- 
ing feet. 
Turned to the heedless city whence T 
came, 



Hard by I saw, and springs of worship 

sweet 
Gushed from my cleft heart smitten 

by the same ; 
Lore looked me in the &ee and spake no 

words, 
But straight I knew those footprints 

were the Lord's. 

I followed where they led. 
And in a hovel nide, 
With naught to fence the weather from 
his head. 
The King 1 sought for meekly stood ; 
A naked, hungry child 
Clunff round his gracious knee. 
And a poor hunted slave looked up and 
smiled 
To bless the smile that set him 
free; 
New miracles I saw his presence do, — 
No more I knew the hovel bare and 
poor. 
The gathered chips into a woodpile 
grew, 
The broken morsel swelled to goodly 
store; 
I knelt and wept : my Christ no more 

I seek. 
His throne is with the outcast and the 
weak. 



THE PRESEKT CRISIS. 

When a deed is done for Freedom, 

through the broad earth's aching 

breast 
Runs a thrill of joy prophetic, trembling 

on from east to west. 
And the slave, where'er he cowers, feels 

the soul within him climb 
To the awful verge of manhood, as the 

energy sublime 
Of a century bursts full-blossomed on 

the thorny stem of Time. 

Through the walls of hut and palace 

shoots the instantaneous throe, 
When the travail of the Ages wrings 

earth's systems to and fro ; 
At the birth of each new Era, with a 

recognizing start. 
Nation wildly looks at nation, standin.i^ 

with mute lips apart. 
And glad Truth's yet mightier man-child 

leaps beneath the Future's heart. 



AN INDIAN-SUMMER REVERIE. 



69 



And these mounts of anguish number 
how each generation learned 

One new word of that grand Credo which 
in prophet-heartd hath burned 

Since the brat man stooil God-conquered 
with his face to heaven upturned. 

For Humanity sweeps onward : where 

to-day the martyr stands, 
On the morrow crouches Judas with the 

silver in his hands ; 
Far in front the croMS stands ready and 

the crackling fagots bum, 
While the hooting mob of yesterday in 

silent awe return 
To glean uu the scattered ashes into 

History 8 golden urn. 

T is as easy to be heroes as to sit the idle 
slaves 

Of a l^ndary virtue carved upon our 
fathers' graves. 

Worshippers of light ancestral make the 
present light a crime ; — 

Was the Mayflower launched by cow- 
ards, steered by men behind their 
timet 

Turn those tracks toward Past or Fu- 
ture, that make Plymouth Rock 
sublime? 

They were men of present valor, stalwart 

old iconoclasts, 
Unconvinced by axe or gibbet that all 

virtue was the Past's ; 
But we make their tnith our falsehood, 

thinking that hath made us free, 
Hoarding it in mouldy parchments, 

whi& our tender spirits flee 
The rude grasp of that great Impulse 

which drove them across the sea. 

They have rights who dare maintain 

them ; we are traitors to our sires. 
Smothering in their holy ashes Freedom's 

new-lit altar- fires ; 
Shall we make their creed our jailer ? 

Shall we, in our haste to slay. 
From the tombs of the old prophets steal 

the funeral lamps away ' 
To light up the martyr-fagots round the 

prophets of to-day ? 

New occasions teach new duties ; Time 
makes ancient good uncouth ; 

They rouxt upward still, and onward, 
who would keep abnaeuft of Truth ; 



Lo, before us gleam her camn-flres ! we 
ourselves must Pilgrims be. 

Launch our Mayflower, and steer boldly 
through the desperate winter sea. 

Nor attempt the Future's portal with 
the Past's blood-rusted key. 
December, 1846. 



AK INDIAN-«XJMHER REVERIE. 

What visionaiy tints the year puts 
on, 
When falling leaves falter through 
motionless air 
Or numbly cling and shiver to be 
gone ! 
How shimmer the low flats and pas- 
tures bare, 
As with her nectar He be Autumn Alls 
The bowl between me and those dis- 
tant hiUs, 
And smiles and shakes abroad her misty, 
tremulous hair I 

No more the landscape holds its 
wealth apart. 
Making me poorer in my poverty. 
But mingles with my senses and my 
heart; 
My own projected spirit seems to me 
In her own reverie the world to 

steep ; 
*T is sne that waves to sympathetic 
sleep. 
Moving, as she is moved, each field and 
nill and tree. 

How fuse and mix, with what un- ^ 
felt degrees, 
Clas])ed by the faint horizon's languid 
arms. 
Each into each, the hazy distances ! 
The softened season all the landscape 
charms ; 
Those hills, my native village that 

embay. 
In waves of dreamier purple roll 
away, 
And floating in mirage seem all the , 
glimmering farms. 

Fardistant sounds the hidden chick- 
adee 
Close at my side; far distant sound 
the leaves ; 

The fields seem fields of dream, 
where Memory 



70 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



Wanders like gleaning Ruth ; and as 
the sheaves 
Of wheat and barley wavered in the 

eye 
Of Booz as the niaideu'H glow went 
I by, 

I So tremble and seem remote all things 
the sense receives. 

The cock's ahrill tramp that tells 
of scattered com, 
Passed breezily on by all his flapping 
mates, 
Faint and more faint, from bam to 
bam is borne, 
Southward, perhaps to far MagelUn's 
Straits ; 
Dimly I catch the throb of distant 

flails ; 
Silently overhead the hen-hawk 
sails, 
. With watchful, measuring eye, and for 
' his quarry waits. 

The sobered robin, hunger-silent 
now, 
Seeks cedar-berries blue, his autumn 
1 cheer ; 

The squirrel, on the shingly shag- 
bark 8 bough. 
Now saws, now lists with downward 
eye and ear. 
Then drops his nut, and, with a 

chipping bound. 
Whisks to his winding fastness 
underground ; 
The clouds like swans drift down the 
streaming atmosphere. 

O'er yon bare knoll the pointed 
cedar shadows 
Drowse on the crisp, gray moss ; the 
ploughman's call 
: Creeps faint as smoke from black, 

fivsh- furrowed meadows; 
The single crow a single caw lets fall ; 
And all around me every bush and 

tree 
Says Autumn 's here, and Winter 
' soon will be. 

Who snows his soft, white sleep and 
silence over all. 

The birch, most shy and ladylike 
of trees, 
Her ]ioverty, as best she may, re- 
trieves. 



And hints at her foregone gentili- 
ties 
With some saved relics of her wealth 
of leaves ; 

The swamp-oak, with his royal pur- 
ple on. 

Glares red as blood across the sink- 
ing sun. 
As one who proudlier to a falling for- 
tune cleaves. 

He looks a sachem, in red blanket 
wrapt, 
Who, mid some council of the sad- 
garbed whites. 
Erect and stem, in his own memo- 
ries lapt. 
With distant eye broods over other 
sights, 
Sees the hushed wood the city's flare 

replace, 
The wounded turf heal o'er the rofl- 
way's trace, 
And roams the savage Past of his nn- 
dwindled rights. 

The red-oak, softer-grained, yields 
all for lost, • 
And, with his crampled foliage stiff 
and dry. 
After the first betrayal of the frost, 
RebutTs the kiss of the irlenting sky ; 
The chestnuts, lavish of their long- 
hid gold, 
To the faint Summer, beggared now 
and old. 
Pour back the sunshine hoarded 'neath 
her favoring eye. 

The ash her purple drops foi^v- 
ingly 
And s^ly, breaking not the general 
hush ; 
The maple-swamps glow like a sun- 
set sea. 
Each leaf a ripple with its separate 
flush; 
All round the wood's edge creeps 

the skirting blaze 
Of bushes low, as when, on cloudy 
days. 
Ere the rain falls, the cautious farmer 
bums his brash. 

O'er yon low wall, which guards 
one unkempt zone. 
Where vines and weeds and scrub- 
oaks intertwine 



= 70 



MISC] 



Wanders like gleanir 
the sUt?avei> 
Of whea^ 



•. • 



THE NEW YOF.K 
PUBLIC LIB^'^^ 




L 






AS INDUN>SUMlI£a REVERIE. 



71 



Safe from the plough, whoM tough, 

discordant stone 
Is iDMHed to one soft gray by lichens 

fine. 
The tangled blackbeiry, crossed and 

recro»ed, weayes 
A prickly network of ensanguined 

leaves ; 
Hard by, with coral beads, the prim 

black -alders shine. 

Pillanns with flame this crumbling 
boundary, 
Wbose loose blocks topple *neath the 
plough boy's foot, 
Who, with each sense shut fast ex- 
cept the eye, 
Creeps close and scsres the jay he 
hoped to shoot. 
The woodbine up the elm's straight 

stem aspires. 
Coiling it, harmless, with autumnal 
fires ; 
In the ivy's paler blaze the martyr oak 
stands mute. 

Below, the Charles — a stripe of 
nether sky, 
Now hid by rounded apple-trees be- 
tween. 
Whose gaps the misplaced sail 
I sweeps bellying by, 

Kow flickering golden through a wood- 
land screen. 
Then spreading out, at his next 

turn beyond, 
A silver circle like an inland pond — 
Slips seaward silently through marshes 
purple and green. 

Dear marshes ! vain to him the gift 
of sight 
Who cannot in their yarious incomes 
share. 
From every season drawn, of shade 
and light. 
Who sees in them but levels brown 
> and bare ; 

! Each change of storm or sunshine 

scatters nee 
On them its laigess of variety, 
For Nature with cheep means still works 
' her wonden rare. 

In Spring they lie one broad expanse 
of green. 
O'er which the light winds run with 
glimmering feet : 



Here, rellower stripes track out the 
creek unseen, 
There, darker growths o*er hidden 
ditches meet ; 
And piiqder stains show where the 

blossoms ci%>wd. 
As if the silent shadow of a clonil 
Hung there becalmed, with the next 
breath to fleet. 

All round, upon the river's sli]ipery 
edge, 
Witching to deeper calm the drowt»y 
tide, 
Whispers and leans the breeze- 
entangling sedfe ; 
Through emerald glooms the lingering 
waters slide. 
Or, sometimes wavering, throw back 

the sun. 
And the stiff banks in eddies melt 
and run 
Of dimpling light, and with the current 
seem to glide. 

In Summer *t is a blithesome sight 
to see. 
As, step by step, with measured swing, 
they pass, 
The ^ide-ranked mowers wading to 
^he knee. 
Their sharp scythes panting through 
the thick-set grass ; 
Then, stretched beneath a rick's 

shade in a ring, 
Their nooning take, while one 
begins to sing 
A stave that droops and dies 'neath the 
close sky of brass. 

Meanwhile that devil-may-care, the 
bobolink, 
Bemembering duty, in mid-quaver 
stops 
Just ere he sweeps o'er rapture's 
tremulous brink, 
And 'twixt the winrows most demurely 
drops, 
A decorous bird of business, wlio 

provides 
For his brown mate and fledglings 
six, besides, 
And looks from right to left, a farmer 
mid his crops. 

Another change subdues them in 
the Fall, 



JlS INOIAN-SUMUEB beterie. 



73 



Edgewise or flat. In Druid-like de- 
vice. 
With leaden pools between or gullies 
bare. 
The blocks lie strewn, a bleak Stone- 
henge of ice ; 
No life, no sound, to break the grim 
despair, 
Sare sullen nlunge, as through the 

sedges stin 
Down crackles riverward some 
thaw-sapped cliff, 
Or when the close-wedged fields of ice 
crunch here and there. 

But let me turn from fancy-pic- 
tured scenes 
To that whose pastoral calm before me 
lies: 
Here nothing harsh or rugged inter- 
venes ; 
The early evening with her misty dyes 
Smooths off me ravelled e(^^ of 

the nigh, 
Kelieves the distant with her cooler 
sky. 
And tones the landscape down, and 
soothes the wearied eyes. 

There gleams my native village, dear 
to me. 
Though higher change's waves each 
day are seen. 
Whelming fields famed in boyhood's 
history, 
Sanding with houses the diminished 
green; 
There, in red brick, which soften- 
ing time defies, 
Stand square and stiff the Muses* 
factories ; — 
How with my life knit np is every well- 
known scene ! 

Flow on, dear river 1 not alone you 

flow 
To outward sight, and through your 

marshes wind ; 
Fed from the mystic springs of long- 

agOf 
Your twin flows silent through my 
world of mind : 
Grow dim, dear marshes, in the 

evening's gray ! 
Before my inner sight ye stretch 
awav, 
And will forever, though these fleshly 
eyes grow blind. 



Beyond the hillock's house-bespot- 
ted swell, 
Where Gothic chapels house the horse 
and chaise. 
Where quiet cits in Grecian tem- 
ples dwell, 
Where Coptic tombs resound with 
prayer and praise, 
Wnere dust and mud the equal 

year divide, 
There gentle Allston lived, and 
wrought, and died, 
Transfiguring street and shop with his 
mummed gaze. 

Virgilium vidi tarUum, — I have 
seen 
But as a boy, who looks alike on all, 
That misty hair, that fine Undine-like 
mien, 
Tremulous as down to feeling's faintest 
call ; — 
Ah, dear old homestead ! count it to 
thy fame 
That thither many times the Paint- 
er came ; — 
One elm yet bears his name, a feathery 
tree and talL 

Swiftly the present fades in mem- 
ory's glow, — 
Our only sure possession is the past ; 
The village blacksmith died a 
month ago, 
And dim to me the foige's roaring 
blast; 
Soon fire-new medievals we shall 

BAA 

Oust the black smithy from its chest- 
nut-tree, 
And that hewn down, perhaps, the bee* 
hive green and vast. 

How many times, prouder than 
king on throne. 
Loosed from the village school-dame's 
A's and B's, 
Panting have I the creaky bellows 
blown, 
And watched the pent volcano's red 
increase, 
Then paused to see the ponderous 

sledge, brought down 
By that hard arm voluminous and 
brown, 
From the white iron swarm its golden 
vanishing bees. 



I 



1 



THE GBOWTH OF THE LEGEND. 



75 



Of VinlaDd, perhaps, while their prow 

groped itA way 
"Twizt the frothed gnashing tuska of 

some ship-cnuiching hny. 

So, pine-like, the legend grew, atroBg- 

liuibed and tall. 
As the Gypsy rhild grows that eats crusts 

in the hall ; 
It sucked the whole strength of the 

earth and the sky. 
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, all 

brought it supply ; 
T was a natural growth, and stood fear- 

lessly there. 
True part of the landscape as sea, land, 

and air ; 
For it grew in good times, ere the fash- 
ion it was 
To force these wild births of the woods 

under glass. 
And 60, if 't is told as it should be told. 
Though 't were sung under Venice s 

moonlight of gold. 
You would hear the old voice of its 

mother, the pine, 
Marmur 8<.*alike and northern through 

every line. 
And the vei-ses should grow, self-sns- 

tained and free, 
Round the vibrating stem of the melody, 
like the lithe moonlit limbs of the 

parent tree. 

Yes, the pine is the mother of legends ; 

what food 
For their grim roots is left wlien the 

thonsand-yeared wood. 
The dim-aisled cathedral, whose tall 

arches spring 
light, sinewy, gracefnl, firm-set as the 

wing 
From MichaeFs white shoulder, is hewn 

and defaced 
By iconoclast axes in desperate waste. 
And its wrecks seek the ocean it proph- 
esied long, 
Cassandra-like, crooning its mystical 

song! 
Then the legends go with them, — even 

yet on the sea 
A wild virtue is left in the touch of the 

tree. 
And the sailor's night-watches are 

thrilled to the core 
With the lineal ol&pring of Odin and 

Thor. 



Yea» wherever the pine-wood has never 
let in, 

Since the day of creation« the light and 
the din 

Of manifold life, bat has safely con- 
veyed 

From the midnight primeval its armful 
of shade. 

And has kept the weird Past with its 
sasas alive 

Mid the hum and the stir of To-day's 
busy hive. 

There the legend takes root in the age- 
gathered gloom. 

And its murmurous boughs for their 
sagas find room. 

Where Aroostook, far-heard, seems to 
sob as he goes 

Groping down to the sea *neath his 
mountainous snows ; 

Where the lake's frore Sahara of never- 
tracked white, 

When the crack shoots across it, com- 
plains to the night 

With a long, lonely moan, that leagues 
northward is lost, 

As the ice shrinks away from the tread 
of the frost ; 

Where the lumberers sit by the log-fires 
that throw 

Their ow^n threatening shadows far round 
o'er the snow, 

When the wolf howls aloof, and the 
wavering glare 

Flashes out from the blackness the eyes 
of the bear. 

When the wood's huge recesses, half- 
lighted, supply 

A canvas where Fancy her mad brush 
may tiy. 

Blotting in giant Horrors that venture 
not down 

Through the right-angled streets of the 
brisk, whitewashed town, 

But skulk in the depths of the measure- 
less wood 

Mid the Dark's creeping whispers that 
curdle the blood. 

When the eve, glanced in dread o'er the 
shoulder, may dream, 

Ere it shrinks to the camp-fire's compan- 
ioning gleam. 

That it saw the fierce ghost of the Red 
Man crouch back 

To the shroud of the tree-trunk's invin- 
cible black ; — 



I 76 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



TLere the old shapes crowd thick round 
the pine-shadowed camp. 

Which shun the keen gleam of the schol- 
arly lamp, 

And the seed of the legend finds true 
Norland ^und. 

While the border-tale 's told and the 
canteen tlits round. 



A CONTRAST. 

Tht love thou sentest oft to me. 
And still as oft I thiiist it back ; 

Thy messengers I could not see 
In those who everything did lack, 
The poor, the outcast, and the black. 

Pride held his hand before mine eyes. 
The world with flattery stulfed mine 
ears; 
I looked to see a monarch's guise, 
Nor dreamed thy love would knock 

for years. 
Poor, naked, fettered, full of tears. 

Yet, when I sent my love to thee. 
Thou with a smile didst take it in, 

And entertain'dst it royally, 
Though grimed with earth, with hun- 
ger thin. 
And leprous with the taint of sin. 

Now every day thy love I meet, 
As o'er the earth it wanders wide. 

With weary step and bleeding feet. 
Still knocking at the heart of pride 
And offering grace, though still de- 
nied. 

EZTREBCE UNCTION. 

Go! leave me, Priest; my soul would 
be 
Alone with the consoler, Death ; 
Far sadder eyes than thine will see 
This crumbling clay yield up its 
breath ; 
These shrivelled hands have deeperstains 

Than holy oil can cleanse away, 
Hands that have plucked the world's 
coarse gains 
As erst they plucked the flowers of 
May. 

Call, if thou canst, to these gray eyes 
Some faith from youth's traditions 
wrung; 



This fruitless husk which dnstward dries 
Has been a heart once, has been young ; 

On this bowed head the awful Past 
Once laid its consecrating hands ; 

The Future in its purpose vast 
Paused, waiting my supreme com- 
mands. 

But look! whose shadows block the 
door? 
Who are those two that stand aloof? 
See ! on my hands this freshening gore 
Writes o'er again its crimson proof ! 
My looked-for death-bed guests are 
met; 
There mv dead Youth doth wring its 
hands, 
And there, with eyes that goad me yet, 
The ghost of my Ideal stands ! 

God bends from out the dee^ and says, 

" I gave thee the great gift of life ; 
Wast triou not called in many ways ? 

Are not my earth and heaven at strife ? 
I gave thee of my seed to sow, 

Bringest thou me my hundi^-fold?'* 
Can I look up with face a^low, 

And answer, "Father, here is gold" ? 

I have been innocent ; God knows 

When first this wasted life l)egan. 
Not grape with grape more kindly grows, 

Than 1 with every brother-man : 
Now hero 1 gasp ; what lose my kind. 

When this fast ebbing bi-eath shall 
part? 
What oands of love and service bind 

This being to the world's sad heart ? 

Christ still was wandering o'er the earth 

Without a place to lay his head ; 
He found free welcome at my hearth, 

He shared my cup and broke my 
bread : 
Now, when 1 hear those steps sublime, 

That bring the other world to this. 
My snake-turned nature, sunk in slime, 

Starts sideway with defiant hiss. 

Upon the hour when I was bom, 
God said, "Another man shall be,'* 

And the great Maker did not scorn 
Out of himself to fashion me ; 

He sunned me with his ripening looks. 
And Heaven's rich instincts in me 
grew, 



I 



THE OAK. 



77 



As effortless as woodland nooks 

Send violets up and paint them blue. 

I 

Yes, I who now, with angry tears, 
Am exiled beck to brutish clod, 
j Have borne unquenched for fourscore 
years 
A spark of the eternal God ; 
And to what end I How yield I back 
The trust for such high uses given ? 
I Heaven's light hath but revealed a track 
' VThereby to crawl away from heaven. 

Men think it is an awful si|;ht 

To see a soul just set adnft 
On that drear voyage from whose night 

The ominous shadows never lift ; 
But 't is more awful to behold 

A helpless infant newly bom, 
Whost^ little hands unconscious hold 

The keys of darkness and of mom. 

I Mine held them once ; I flung away 
Tho^ keys that might have open set 
The golden sluices of the day, 

But clutch the keys of darkness yet ; 
I hear the reapers singing go 

Into God'« harvest ; I, that might 
With them have chosen, here below 
I Grope shuddering at the gates of night 

. O glorions Youth, that once wast mine ! 
' O high Ideal ! all in vain 
Te enter at this ruined shrine 

Wht>nce worship ne'er shall rise again ; 
The bat and owl inhabit here. 

The snake nests in the altar-stone, 
i The sacred vessels moulder near. 
The image of the God Lb gone. 



THE OAK. 

What gnarled stretch, what depth of 
shade, is his ! 
There needs no crown to mark the 
forest's king ; 
How in his leaves outshines full sum- 
mer's bliss ! 
8an, storm, rain, dew, to him their 
tribute bring, 
Which he with such benignant rovalty 
Accepts, as overpayeth what is lent ; 
All nature seems his vassal proud to be. 
And cunning only for his ornament. 



How towers he, too, amid the billowed 
snows, 
An unquelled exile from the summer's 
thrane, 
Whose plain, uncinctured front more 
kingly shows. 
Now that the obscuring courtier leaves 
are flown. 
His boughs make music of the winter 
air, 
Jewelled with sleet, like some cathe- 
dral front 
Where clinging snow-flakes with quaint 
art repair 
The dints and furrows of time's en- 
vious brunt. 

How doth his patient strength the mde 
March wind 
Persuade to seem glad breaths of sum- 
mer breeze. 
And win the soil that fain would be 
unkind, 
To swell his revenues with proud in- 
crease! 
He is the gem; and all the landscape 
wide 
(So doth his grandeur isolate the 
sense) 
Seems but the setting, worthless all be- 
side. 
An empty socket, were he fallen 
thence. 

So, from oft converse with life's wintry 
gales, 
Should man learn how to clasp with 
tougher roots 
The inspiring earth; how otherwise 
avails 
The leaf-creating sap that sunward 
shoots ? 
So everv year that falls with noiseless 
ffake 
Should fill old scars up on the storm- 
ward side. 
And make hoar age revered for age's 
sake, 
Not for traditions of youth's leafy 
pride. 

So, from the pinched soil of a churlish 
fate, 
Trae hearts compel the sap of stur- 
dier growth. 

So between earth and heaven stand sim- 
ply great, 



78 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



That these shall seem but their at- 
tendants both ; 
For nature's forces with obedient zeal 
Wait on the rooted faith and oaken 
will; 
As quickly the pretenders cheat they 
feel. 
And turn mad Pucks to flout and 
mock him still. 

Lord! all thy works are lessons; each 
contains 
S<Hue emblem of man's all-oontaining 
soul; 
Shall he make fruitless all thy gkNrious 
pains, 
Dehiug within thy grace an eyeless 
mole? 
Make me the least of thy I>odona-grove, 
Cause me some mcsssge of thy truth 
to bring, 
Speak but a word through me, nor kt 
thy love 
Among my boughs disdain to perch 
and sing. 



Netxr, surely, was holier man 
Thau Ambrose, since the world began ; 
With diet spare and raiment thin 
He shielded himself from the lather of 

sin; 
With bed of iron snd scourgings oft, 
His heart to God's hand as wax made 

soft. 

Through earnest prayer and watchings 

long 
He sought to know 'tween right and 

wronjr, 
Much wrestling with the blessed Word 
To make it yield the sense, of the I-iord, 
That he might build a storm-proof creed 
To fold the flock in at their need. 

At last he biiilded a perfect faith, 
Fenced round about with The Jjrrd tkua 

aaith : 
To himself he fitted the doorway's size, 
Minted the light to the need of his eyes, 
And knew, by a sure and inwai-d sign. 
That the work of his fingers was divine. 

Then Ambrose said, "All those shall die 
The eternal death who believe not as 1 " ; 
And some were boiled, some burned in fire, 



Some sawn in twain, that his heart's 

desire. 
For the good of men's souls, might be 

satisfied 
By the drawing of all to the righteous 

side. 

One day, as Ambrose was seeking the 

truth 
In his kuely walk, he saw a youth 
Kesting himself in the shade of a tree ; 
It had never been granted him to see 
So shining a face, and the good man 

thought 
'T were pity he should not believe as he 

ought. 

So he set himself by the young man's 
side. 

And the state of his soul with questions 
tried ; 

But the heart of the stranger was hard- 
ened indeed, 

Nor received the stamp of the one true 
ereed; 

And the spirit of Ambrose waxed sore to 
find 

Such face the porch of so narrow a mind. 

" As each beholds in cloud and fire 
The shape that answers his own desire. 
So each," said the youth, "in the Law 

shall find 
The figure and features of his mind ; 
And to each in his mercy bath God 

allowed 
His several pillar of fire and cloud." 

The soul of Ambrose burned with zeal 
And holy wrath for the young man's 

weal: 
"Believest thou then, most wretched 

youth," 
Cried he, "a dividual essence in Truth ? 
I fear me thy heart is too cramped witli sin 
To take the Lord in his glory in/ 



n 



Now there bubbled beside them where 

they stood 
A fountain of waters sweet and good ;. 
The youth to the streamlet's brink drew 

near 
Saying, "Ambrose, thou maker of 

creeds, look here!" 
Six vases of crystal then he took, 
And set them along the edge of thb 

brook. 



1 






I , 



T::h: r:Ew vuHK 

^U?:;C LIBRARY 



■■ 4 



■ ». »!■ < «a— ^»^-i^1— ^^fci 



ABOVE. AlfD BltOTT. — THE CAPTIVE. 



79 



'* As into these vesseU the water I pour. 
There shall one hold lees, another more, 
And the water unchanged, in every case, 
Shall pot on the figure of the vase ; 
thou, who wouldst unity make through 

strife. 
Canst thou fit this sign to the Water of 

life ?" 

When Ambrose looked up, he stood aloiie» 
The youth and the stream and the rases 

were gone ; 
But he knew, by a sense of humUed 

grace, 
He had talked with an angel face to face. 
And felt his heart chanse inwardly. 
As he fell on his knees beneath the tree. 

JkBOYS AND BELOW. 

I. 

0WELLEB8 in the valley-land. 

Who in deep twilight grope and 
cower. 
Till the slow mountain's dial-hand 

Shortens to noon's triumphal hour, 
While ye sit idle, do ye think 

The Lord's great work sits idle too T 
That light dare not o'erleap the brink 

Of mom« because *t is diurk with yon ? 

Though yet your valleys skulk in night, 

In God's ripe fields the dav is cried« 
And reapecB, with their sickles bright. 

Troop, singing, dowuithe mountain- 
side: 
Come up, and feel what health there is 

In the frank Dawn's delighted eyes, 
As, bending with a pitying Iciss, 

The night-shed tears of Earth she 
dries t 

The Lord wants reapers : O, mount up, 

Before night comes, and says» "Too 
later' 
Stay not for taking scrip or cnp^ 

'The Master hunsers while ye wait ; 
'T is from these heights alone your eyes 

The advancing spears of day can see. 
That .o'er the eastern hill-tops rise, 

To break your long captivity. 

II. 

Lone watcher on the mountain-height. 
It is riffht precious to behold 

The first long surf of climbing light 
Flood all Uie thirsty east with gold ; 



But we, who in the shadow sit. 
Know also when the day is nigh^ 

Seeing thy shining forehead lit 
With his iiispinng prophecy. 

Thou hast thine office ; we have oars ; 

Qod lacks not early service liere, 
But what are thine eleventh hours 

He counts with us for morning cheer ; 
Our day, for Him, is long enough, 

And when he giveth work to do. 
The bruised reed is amply tough 

To pierce the shield of error through. 

But not the less do thon aspire 

Light's earlier messages to preach ; 
Keep back no syllable of fire, 

Plunge deep the rowels of thy speech. 
Yet God deems not thine aeried sight 

More worthy than our twilight dim ; 
For meek Obedience, too, is Light, 

And following that is finding Him. 



THB CAPTITB. 

It was past the hour of trysting, 
But she lingered for him still; 

Like a child, the eager streamlet 
Leaped and langhed adown the hill, 

Happy to be free at twilight 
From its toiling at the mill. 

Then the great moon on a sudden 

Ominous, and red as blood. 
Startling as a new creation. 

O'er the eastern hill -top stood. 
Casting deep and deeper shadows 

Through the n^stery of the wood. 

Dread closed huge and vague about her. 
And her thoughts turn^ fearfully 

To her heart, if tliere some shelt(*r 
From the silence there might be, 

Like bare cedars leaning inland 
From the bligliting of the sea. 

Tet he came not, and the stillness 
Dampened round her like a tomb ; 

She could feel cold eyes of spirits 
Looking on her through tne gloom, 

She could hear the giv>ping foo^teps 
Of some blind, gigantic doom. 

Suddenly the silence wavered 
Like a light mist in the wind, 

For a voice broke gently through it. 
Felt like sunshine by the blind. 



I To the cattle of my foe ; 
' If thy love burn cletu and faithful, 
' Strike the gateway, green anU low, 
Ask to enter, and tbe warder 
Surely will not say thee no." 

, Slept again the aspen silence, 
But ner lonelincsa wag o'er ; 
Round her heart a motherl; patience 
Wrapt its arms forevrmjon: ; 

I From her soul ebbed bauk the aorrow, 
Leaving smooth the golden shore. 

im acall. 

nhaiid; 

I cloud-Khade, flitting eastwam. 
Wandered she o'er sea and land ; 
And her footsteps in the desert 
Fell like cool rain on tbe sand. 

: Soon, beneath the palm-tree's shadow. 

Knelt she at the postem low ; 

And thereat she ktiocketh jjently, 

Fearing much the warder's no: 

All her heart stood still and listened. 

As the door swung backward slow. 

There she saw no surly warder 
With an eye like bolt and l«T ) 

Thmufih her soul a sense of miisic 
Tlirobbrd. and, like a guardian Lar, 

On tlie threshold stood en sogel. 
Bright and silent as a star. 

' Fairest seemed he of God's setaphs. 

And her spirit, lily-wise, 
. Blossomed when he tumeil upon her 

The deep welcome of his eye* 



Among thy leaves that palpitate for- 
Orid in thee a pining Nymph had pris- 
The soul once of some tremulous inland 



While all the forest, witched with slum- 
berous moonshine, 

Holds up its leaves in happy, happy 
dlence. 

Waiting the daw, with breath and pulse 
suspended, 

J hear afar thy whispering, gleamj 
islands. 

And track thee wakeful still amid the 
wide- hung silence. 

Upon the brink of some wood. nestled 

lakelet, 
Thv foliage, like the tresses of a Dr^ad, 
Dripping about thy slim white stem, 

whose shadow 
Slopes quivering down the water's dusky 

quiet. 
Thou slirink'st as on her bath's edge 

would some startled Drj'ad. 

Thon art the go-between of rustic lovers j 
Thy while bark has their secrets in its 

Reuben writes here the happy name of 

Patience, 
And thv lithe boughs hang murmiiring 

and weeping 
Above her, as she steals the mysteiy 

fn»n thy keeping 



AN INTEBVIEW WITH MILES 8TANDISH. 



81 



Thoa art tome like my beloved maiden^ 

So frankly coy, so fall of trembly confi- 
dences; 

Thy shadow scarce seems shade, thy 
pattering leaflets 

Sprinkle their gathered sunshine o*er 
my senses, 

And Nature gives me all her summer 
confidences. 

Whether my heart with hope or sorrow 
tremble. 

Thou sympathlzeet still ; wild and un- 
quiet, 

I fling me down ; thy ripple, like a riyer, 

Flows yalleywani, where calmness is, 
and by it 

My heart is floated down into the land 
of quiet. 



AK DTTEBTIEW WITH MILES 
BTANDIBH. 

I SAT one evening in my room, 

In that sweet hour of twi%ht 
When blended thoughts, halfUgfat, half 
gloom. 

Throng through the spirits skylight ; 
The flames by fits eurled round the bars, 

Or up the chimney crinkled. 
While embers droppi^d like falling stars, 

And in the ashes tinkled. 

I sat and mused ; the fire burned low, 

And, o'er my senses stealing, 
Crent somethinff of the ruddy gjiow 

That bloomed on wall and ceiling ; 
Mypictures (they are very few, 

The heads of ancient wise men) 
Smoothed down their knotted fronts, 
and grew 

As rosy as excisemen. 

My antique high-backed Spanish chair 

Felt thrills tnrough wooa and leather. 
That had been strangers since whilere, 

Mid Andalusian heather, 
The oak that made its sturdy frame 

His happy arms stretched over 
The ox whose fortunate hide became 

The bottom's polished cover. 

It came out in that famous bark, 
That brought our sires intrepid. 

Capacious as another ark 
For furniture deorepit ; 

6 



For, as that saved of bird and beast 

A pair for propagation. 
So has the seed of these increased 

And furnished half the nation. 

Elings sit, they say, in slippery seats ; 

But those slant precipices 
Of ice the northern voyager meets 

Less slipperjr are than this is ; 
To cling tnerem would pass the wit 

Of royal man or woman. 
And whatsoe'er can stav in it 

Is more or less than human. 

I offer to all bores this perch. 

Dear well-intentioned people 
With heads as void as week-day church. 

Tongues longer than the steeple ; 
To fo&s with missions, whose gaunt 
eyes 

See golden aces rislne, — 
Salt of the eartn t in what oueer Guys 

Thou 'rt fond of crystallizuig ! 

My wonder, then, was not unnuzed 

With merciful suggestion. 
When, as my roving eyes ^rew fixed 

Upon the chair in question, 
I saw its trembling arms enclose 

A figure grim and rusty. 
Whose doublet plain and plainer hose 

Were something worn and dusty. 

Now even such men as Nature forms 

Merely to fill the street with, 
Once turned to ghosts by hungry worms. 

Are serious things to meet with ; 
Your penitent spints are no jokes. 

Ana, though i 'm not averse to 
A quiet shade, even they are folks 

One cares not to speak first to. 

Who knows, thought I, but he has come. 

By Charon kindly ferried. 
To tell me of a mighty sum 

Behind my wainscot buried ? 
There is a buccaneerish air 

About that garb outlandish — 
Just then the ghost drew up his chair 

And said, ** My name is Standish. 

** I come from Plymouth, deadly bored 
With toasts, and songs, and speeches, 

As Ions; and flat as my old sword. 
As threadbare as my breeches : 

T?iey understand us Pilgrims ! they, 
Smooth men with rosy faces. 



TO THE DANDELION. 



83 



While we look coldly on and see law- 
shielded ruffians slay 

The men who fain would win their own, 
the heroes of to-day ! 

Are we pled^;ed to craven silence f O, 

fling it to the wind^ 
The parchment wall that hars us from 

the least of human kind, 
That makes us cringe and temporize, 

and dumbly stand at rest. 
While Pity*s burning flood of words is 

red-hot in the breast ! 

Though we break our fathers' promise, 

we ha\re nobler duties first ; 
The traitor to Humanity is the traitor 

most accursed ; 
Han is mora than Constitutions ; better 

rot beneath the sod. 
Than be true to Church and State while 

we are doubly false to God ! 

We owe allegiance to the State ; but 

deeper, truer, more, 
To the sympathies that God hath set 

within our spirit's core ; 
Our country claims our fealty ; we grant 

it so, but then 
Before Man made us citizens, great 

Nature made us men. 

He 's true to God who 's true to man ; 

wherever wron^ is done. 
To the humblest and the weakest, *neath 

the all-beholding sun. 
That wrong is also done to us ; and they 

are slaves most base. 
Whose love of right is for themselves, 

and not for all their race. 

God works for all. Ye cannot hem the 
hope of being free 

With parallels of latitude, with moun- 
tain-range or sea. 

Put golden iwdlocks on Truth's lips, be 
callous as ye will. 

From soul to soul, o'er all the world, 
leaps one electric thrill. 

Chain down your slaves with ignorance, 
ye cannot keep apart, 

With all your craft of tyranny, the hu- 
man heart from heart : 

When firat the Pilgrims landed on the 
Bay State's iron shore, 

The word went forth that slavery should 
one day be no more. 



Out from the land of bondage 't is de- 
creed our slaves shall go. 

And signs to us are offered, as erat to 
Pharaoh ; 

If we are blind, their exodus, like Is- 
rael's of yore. 

Through a Bed Sea is doomed to be, 
whose surges are of gore. 

'T is onra to save our brethren, with 

peace and love to win 
Their darkened hearts from error, ere 

they harden it to nin ; 
But if before his duty man with listless 

spirit stands. 
Erelong the Great Avenger take^ the 

work from out his hands. 



TO THB DANDELION. 

Dear common flower, that grow'st 
beside the way, 
Fringing the dusty road with harmless 
gold, 
Firat pledge of blithesome May, 
Which children pluck, and, full of pride 
uphold. 
High-hearted buccaneers, o'erjoyed 
that they 
An Eldorado in the grass have found. 
Which not the rich earth's ample 
round 
May match in wealth, thou art more 

dear to me 
Than all the prouder summer-blooms 
may be. 

Gold such as thine ne*er drew the 
Spanish prow 
Through tne primeval hush of Indian 
seas, 
Nor wrinkled the lean brow 
Of age, to rob the lover's heart of ease ; 
'T is the Spring's largess, which she 
scattera now 
To rich and poor alike, with lavish hand. 
Though most hearts never under- 
stand 
To take it at God's value, but pass by 
The offered wealth with unrewai-ded 
eye. 

Thou art my tropics and mine Italy ; 
To look at thee unlocks a wai*mer clime ; 

The eyes thou givest me 
Are in the heart, and heed not space or 
time: 



i 84 



MIBCELLA2f£0nS POEMS. 



17ot in mid June the golden-cni- 
rasaed bee 
Feels a more eummer-like warm ravish- 
ment 
In the white lily's breezy tent, 
His fragrant Sybaris, than 1, when 

first 
From the dark green thy yellow cir- 
cles burst. 

Then think I of deep shadows on the 
grass, 
Of meadows where in sun the cattle 
ffraze, 
WEere, as the breezes pass, 
The gleaming rushes lean a thousand 
ways, 
Of leaves that slumber in a cloudy 
mass, 
Or whiten in the wind, of waters blue 
That fh)m the distance sparide 
through 
Some woodland gap» and of a aky 

above. 
Where one white cloud like a stray 
lamb doth move. 

My childhood's earliest thoughts are 
linked with thee ; 
The sight of thee calls back the robin's 
song, 
Who, from the dark old tree 
Beside the door, sang clearly all day 
long, 
And I, secure in childish piety, 
Listened as if I heard an angel sing 
With news from heaven, which he 
could bring 
Fresh every day to my untainted 

ears 
When birds and flowers and I were 
happy peers. 

How like a prodigal doth nature seem. 
When thou, for all thy gold, so common 
art! 
Thou teachent me to deem 
More sncredly of every human heart. 
Since each reflects in joy its scanty 
gleam 
Of heaven, and could some wondrous 
secret show, 
Did we but pay the love we owe. 
And with a cnild's undoubting wis- 
dom look 
On all these living pages of Ood's 
book. 



!raE OHOCrr-SKBR. 

Yb who, passing graves by night, 
Glance not to the lel^ nor right, 
Lest a spirit should arise. 
Cold and white, to freeze your eyes, 
Some weak phantom, which your doubt 
Sha|>es upon the dark without 
From the dark within, a guess 
At the spirit's deathlessnesa, 
Which ye entertain with fear 
In your self-built dungeon here. 
Where ye sell your God-given lives 
Just for gold to buv you gyves, —^ 
Ye without a shudder meet 
In the citv's noonday street, 
Spirits sadder and more dr«ul 
Thau from out the clay have fled. 
Buried, beyond hope of light, 
In the body's haunted night ! 

See ye not that woman pale ? 
There are bloodhounds on her trail ! 
Bloodhounds two, all gaunt and lean, 
(For the soul their scent is keen,) 
Want and Sin, and Sin is last, 
They have followed far and fast ; 
Want gave tongue, and, at her howl, 
Sin awakened with a erowL 
Ah, poor girl ! she had a right 
To a blessing from the light ; 
Title-deeds to sky and earth 
God gave to her at her birth ; 
But, Defore they were enjoyed, 
Poverty had made them void, 
And had drunk the sunshine up 
From all nature's ample cup. 
Leaving her a first-bom's snare 
In the dregs of darkness there. 
Often, on the sidewalk bleak, 
Hungry, all alone, and weak. 
She has seen, in night and storm. 
Rooms o'erflow with firelight warm, 
Which, outside the window^glass. 
Doubled all the cold, alas I 
Till each ray that on her fell 
Stabbed her like an icicle. 
And she almost loved the wail 
Of the bloodhounds on her trail. 
Till the floor becomes her bier. 
She shall feel their pantings near, 
Close upon her very heels, 
Spite of all the din of wheels ; 
Snivering on her pallet poor. 
She shall hear them at the door 
Whine and scratch to be let in. 
Sister bloodhounds, Want and Sin t 



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THE NEW YOHK 

F'J?: •: LIBFARY 



.'N " ? ' ' . L 



THE GHOBT-SEEB. 



85 I 



Hark ! that rattle of a dress, 

Stiff with lavish costliness ! 

Here comes one whose cheek would 

flush 
Bat to have her garment brush 
'Gainst the girl whose fingei-s thin 
Wove the weary broidery in* 
Bending backward from her toil, 
Lest her tears the silk might soil, • 
And« in midnights chill and murk, 
Stitched her life into the work, 
Shaping from her bitter thought 
Heart's-ease and for^t-me-not, 
Satirizing her despair 
With the emblems woven there. 
Little doth the wearer heed 
Of the heart-break in the brede ; 
A hyena by her side 
Skulks, down-looking, — it is Pride. 
He digs for her in the earth, 
Where lie all h^r claims of birth. 
With his foul paws rooting o'er 
Some long-buned ancestor, 
Who, pernaps, a statue won 
By the ill deeds he had done. 
By the innocent blood he shed. 
By the desolation spread 
Over happy villages. 
Blotting out the smile of peace. 

There walks Jndas, he who sold 
Yesterday his Lord for gold, 
Sold 6od*s presence in his heart 
For a proud step in the mart ; 
He hath dealt in flesh and blood ; 
At the bank his name is good ; 
At the bank, and only there, 
'T is a marketable ware, 
la his eyes that stealthy gleam 
Was not learned of sky or stream, 
Bat it has the cold, hard glint 
Of new dollars from the mint. 
Open now your spirit's eyes, 
Look through that poor clay disguise 
Which has thickened, day by day. 
Till it keeps all li^ht at bay, 
Ami his soul in pitchy gloom 
Gropes about its narrow tomb. 
From wliose dank and slimv walls 
Drop by drop the horror falls. 
Look ! a serpent lank and cold 
Hogs his spirit fold on fold ; 
From his heart, all day and night, 
It doth suck God's blessed light. 
Dnnk it will, and drink it must. 
Till the cup holds naught but dust ; 
All day lung he hears it hiss. 



Writhing in its fiendish bliss ; 
All night long he sees its eyes 
Flicker with foul ecstasies, 
As the spirit ebbs away 
Into the absorbing clay. 

Who is he that skulks, afraid 
Of the trust be has betrayed. 
Shuddering if perchance a gleam 
Of old noUeuess should stream 
Through the pent, unwholesome room. 
Where his shrunk soul cowers in 

gloom. 
Spirit sad beyond the rest 
By more instinct for the beat ? 
'T is a poet who was sent 
For a bad world's punishment, 
By compelling it to see 
Golden glimpses of To Be, 
By compelling it to hear 
Songs that prove the angels near ; 
Who was sent to be the tongue 
Of the weak and spirit- wrung. 
Whence the fiery-winged Despair 
In men's shrinking eyes might flare. 
'T ia our hope doth fashion us 
To base use or fflorious : 
He who niight have been a lark 
Of TnUb's morning, from the dark 
Raining down melodious hope 
Of a freer, broader scope, 
Aspirations, prophecies. 
Of the spirit's full sunrise. 
Chose to be a bird of night. 
That, with eyes refusing light. 
Hooted from some hollow tree 
Of the world's idolatry. 
'T is his punishment to hear 
Flutterings of pinions near, 
And his own vain wings to feel 
Drooping downward to his heel, 
All tneir grace and import lost. 
Burdening his weary ghost : 
Ever walking by his side 
He must see his angel guide, 
Who at intervals doth turn 
Looks on him so sadly stern. 
With such ever-new surprise 
Of hushed anguish in her eyes. 
That it seems the light of day 
From around him shrinks away, 
Or drops blunted from the wall 
Built around him by his falL 
Then the mountains, whose white iieaks 
Ciftch the rooming's earliest streaks, 
He must see, where prophets sit. 
Turning east their faces lit, 



I 86 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



I 



Whence, with footsteps beautiful, 
To the earth, yet dim aud dull, 
They the gladsome tidings bring 
Of the sunlight's hastening : 
Never can these hills of bliss 
Be o'erclimbed by feet like his ! 

But enough ! 0, do not dai^e 
From the next the veil to tear, 
Woven of station, trade, or dress, 
More obscene than nakedness. 
Wherewith plausible culture drapes 
Fallen Nature's myriad shapes ! 
Let us rather love to mark 
How the unextinguished spark 
Will shine through the thin disguise 
Of our customs, pomps, and lies, 
And, not seldom blown to flame, 
Vindicate its ancient claim. 



BTUDIEB rOR TWO HEAD& 

r. 

Some sort of heart 1 know is hers, — 

I chanced to feel her pulse one night ; 
A brain she has that never en^s, 

And yet is never nobly right ; 

It does not leap to great results. 
But, in some corner out of sight, 
Suspects a spot of latent blight, 
And, o'er the impatient infinite, 

She bargains, haggles, and consults. 

Her eye, — it seems a chemic test 

And drops upon you like an acid ; 
It bites you with unconscious zest. 

So clear and bright, so coldly placid ; 
It holds you quietly aloof. 

It holds, — and yet it does not win 
vou; 
It merely puts you to the proof 

And sorts what qualities are in you ; 
It smiles, but never brings you nearer, 

I I lights, — her nature draws not nigh ; 
'T is but that yours is growing clearer 

To her assays ; — yes, try and try. 
You '11 get no deeper than her eye. 

There, you are claasified : she's gone 

Far, far away into herself; 
£ar-h with its Latin label on, 
Your poor components, one by one, 

Aiv laid u|X)ii their proper shelf 
In her compact and ordered mind, 
And what of you is left behind 
Is no more to her than the wind ; 



In that clear brain, which, day and 
night. 
No movement of the heart e'er jostles, 
Her friends are ranged on left and 

right, — 
Here, silex, hornblende, sienite ; 
There, animal remains and fossils. 

And yet, subtile analyst. 
That canst each proiierty detect 

Of mood or grain, that canst untwist 
Each tanpled skein of intellect, 

And with thy scalpel eyes lay liare 

Each mental nerve more fine than air, — 
O brain exact, that in thy scales 

Canst weigh the sun and never err. 
For once thy patient science fails, 
One problem still defies thy art ; — 

Thou never canst compute for her 

The distance and diameter 
Of any simple human heart. 

IE. 

Hear him but speak, and you will feel 
The shadows of the Portico 

Over your tranquil spirit steal, 
To modulate all joy and woe 
To one subdued, subduing glow ; 

Alx)ve our squabbling business-hours. 

Like Phidian Jove's, his beauty lowers, 

His nature satirizes oura ; 
A fonn and front of Attic grace, 
He shames the higgling market-place, 

And dwarfs our more mechanic (>owers^ 

What throbbing verse can fitly render 
That face so pure, so trembling-ten< 
der? 

Sensation glimmers through its rest. 
It speaks un manacled by words, 

As full of motion as a nest 
That palnitates with unfledged birds ; 

'T is liKest to Bethesda's stream. 
Forewarned through all its thrilling 
springs, 

White witn the angel's coming gleam. 
And rippled with his fanning wings. 

Hear him unfold his plots and plans, 
And larger destinies seem man's ; 
You conjure from his glowing face 
The omen of a fairer race ; 
With one grand trope he boldly spans 

The gulf wherein so many fall, 

'Twixt pQMSsible and actual ; 
His fii-st swift word, talaria-shod. 
Exuberant with conscious God, 



ox A PORTRAIT OF DANTE. — ON THE DEATH OF A CHILD. 87 



Out of the choir of planets blots 
I The present earth with all its spots. 

Himself unshaken as the sky, 
His words, like whirlwinds, spin on 
high 

Systems and creeds pellmell together ; 
*T is strange as to a d€»f man's eye, 
While trees uprooted splinter by, 

The dumb turmoil ofstonny weather ; 

Less of iconoclast than shadier. 
His spirit, safe behind the reach 
Of the toniado of his speech. 

Bums calmly as a glowworm's ta- 
per. 

So greftt in speech, but, ah ! in act 

So overrun with vermin troubles. 
The coarse, sharfHCoruered, ugly fact 

Of life collapses all his bubbles : 
Had he but lived in Plato's day, 

He might, unless my fancy errs, 
Have shared that golden voice's sway 

O'er barefooted philosophers. 
Our nipping climate hardly suits 
The ripening of ideal fruits : 
His theories vanauish us all summer, 
But winter makes him dumb and 

dumber; 
To see him mid life's needful thines 

Is something painfully bewildenn^ ; 
He seems an angel with dipt wingps 

Tied to a mortal wife ana children* 
And by a brother seraph taken 
In the act of eating eggs and bacon, 
like a clear fountain, n is desire 

Exults and leaps toward the light. 
In every drop it says "Aspire ! " 

Striving for more ideal height ; 
And as the fountain, falling thence. 

Crawls baffled through the common 
gutter. 
So, from his speech's eminence, 
He shrinks into the present tense, 

Unkinged by foolish bread and butter. 

Yet smile not, worldling, for in deeds 
Not all of life that 's brave and wise 

He strews an ampler future's seeds, 
'T is your fault if no harvest rises ; 

Smooth back the sneer ; for is it naught 
That all he is and has is Beauty's ? 

Bv soul the soul's gains must be wrought, 

The Actual claims our coarser thought, 
The Ideal hath its higher duties. 



ON AFORTRAIT OF DANTB BT GIOTTO. 

Can this be thou who, lean and pale. 

With such immitigable eve 
Didst look upon those writhing souls in 
bale. 

And note each vengeance, and pass by 
Unmoved, save when thy heart by chance 
Cast backward one forbidden glance. 

And saw Francesca, with child's glee, 

Subdue and mount thy wild-horse Knee 
And with proud hands control its tiery 
prance ? 

With half-drooped lids, and smootli, 
round brow. 

And eye remote, that inly sees 
Fair Beatrice's spirit wandering now 

In some sea-lulled Hes|)erides, 
Thou movest through the jarriug street. 
Secluded from the noise of feet 

Bv her gift-blossom in thy hand, 

Thy branch of palm 'from Holy 
Land; — 
No trace is here of ruin's fiery sleet. 

Yet there is something round thy lips 

That prophesies the coming doom, 
The soft, gray herald-shadow ere the 
eclipse 
Notches the perfect disk with gloom ; 
A something that would banish Uiee, 
And thine untamed pursuer be, 
From men and their unworthy fat«s. 
Though Florence had not shut her 
gates. 
And Grief had loosed her clutch and let 
thee free. 

Ah I he who follows fearlessly 

The beckonings of a poet-heart 
Shall wander, and witnout the world's 
decree, 
A banished man in field and mart ; 
Harder than Florence' walls the bar 
Which with deaf sternness holds him 
far 
From home and friends, till death's 

release. 
And makes his only prayer for p<»noe. 
Like thine, scarred veteran of a lifelong 
warl 



ON THE DEATH OF A FRIENDS CHILD. 

Death never came so nigh to me before. 
Nor showed me his mild face : oft had I 
mused 



88 



MISGELIAKEOUS FOXMS. 



Of calm and peaoe and deep foi]fi;etfal* 

ness, 
Of folded hands, doeed eyes, and heart 

at rest, 
And slumber sound beneath a ilowerj 

turf, 
Of faults forgotten, and an inner place 
Kept sacrecf for us in the heart of 

friends ; 
But these were idle fancies, satisfied 
With the mere husk of this great mys- 
tery, 
And dwelling in the outward shows of 

things. 
Heaven is not mounted to on wings of 

dreams, 
Nor doth the unthankful happiness of 

youth 
Aim thitherward, but floats from bloom 

to bloom, 
With earth's warm patch of sunshine 

well content : 
T is sorrow builds the shining ladder up, 
Whose golden rounds are our calamities, 
Whereon our firm feet planting, nearer 

God 
The spirit climbs, and hath ita eyes vn- 

sealed. 

True is it that Death's £soe seems stem 

and cold. 
When he is sent to summon those we 

lore, 
But all God's angels come to us dis- 
guised ; 
Sorrow and sickness, porert^jr and death. 
One after other lift their fh>wning 

masks, 
And we behold the seraph's face beneath, 
All radiant with the glory and the calm 
Of having looked upon the front of God. 
With every anffuish of our earthly part 
The spirit s sight grows clearer; this was 

meant 
When Jesus touched the blind man's 

litis with clay. 
Life is the jailer, Death the angel sent 
To draw the unwilling bolts and set us 

free. 
He flings not ope the ivory gate of 

Rest,— 
Only the fallen spirit knocks at that, — 
Hut to beuigner regions beckons us, 
To destinies of more rewarded toil. 
In the hushed chamber, sitting by the 

dead. 
It grates on us to hear the flood of life 



Whirl mstUng onward, aenaeleaB of oat 

loss. 
The bee hums on ; around the blossomed 

vine 
Whirs the light humming-bird; the 

cricket chirps ; 
The locust's shrill alarum stings the 

ear; 
Hard bpTi the cock shouts lustily ; from 

»rm to fann. 
His cheery brothers, telling of the sun. 
Answer, till far away the ioyanoe dies : 
We never knew before how God had 

filled 
The summer air with happy living 

sounds ; 
All round us seems an overplus of life. 
And yet the one dear heart lies cold and 

still. 
It is most strange, when the great mir* 

acle 
Hath for our sakes been done, when we 

have had 
Our inwardest experience of God, 
When with his presence still the room 

expands, 
And is awed aher him, that naught is 

changed. 
That Nature's face looks unacknowl* 



edginff, 
be mad 



And the mad world still dances heedless 
on 

After its butterflies, and gives no sign. 

'T is hard at first to see it all aright: 

In vain Faith blows her trump to sum- 
mon liack 

Her scattered troop : yet, through the 
clouded glass 

Of our own bitter tears, we learn to look 

Undazzled on the kindness of God's 
face; 

Earth Is too dark, and Heaven alone 
shines through. 

It is no little thing, when a fresh soul 
And a fresh heart, with their unmeas- 
ured scope 
For good, not gravitating earthward yet. 
But circling in diviner periods, 
Are sent into the world, — no little 

thing. 
When this unbounded possibility 
Into the outer silence is withdrawn. 
Ah, in this world, where every guiding 

thread 
Ends suddenly in the one sure centre^ 
death, 



[ 



KUktbKt. 



89 



The Tuioiicnr luind of Mi(^hATe-l)eeii 
Alone can fiU Desire's cap to the brim ! 

How cbsnged, dear friend^ an thy part 

and thy child's ! 
He bends abore thy eradle now, or holds 
• His warning finger oat to be thy gaid« ; 
Thott art the nonling now ; he watches 

thee 
Slow learning, one by one, the secret 

things 
Which are to him Hied sights of every 
day; 
I He smiles to see thy wondering glances 
con 
The grass and pebbles of the splrlt- 

world, 
To thee miraculoos ; and he will teach 
Thy knees their due observances of 

prayer. 
Children are Qod*s apostles, day by day 
Sent forth to preach of love, and hope, 

and peace ; 
Nor hath thy babe his nusslott left nn- 
1 done. 

I To me, at least, his going hence hath 

given 
i Serener thoughts and nearer to the skies, 
And opened a new fountain in my hi^art 
For thee, my friend, and all : and 0, if 

Death 
More near approaches meditates, and 

clasps 
Even now some dearer, more reluctant 
I hand, 

God, strengthen thou my faith, that I 
I may see 

That 't i» thine angel, who, with loving 

haste. 
Unto the service of the inner shrine. 
Doth waken thy beloved with a kiaSi 



XTTRTDICS. 

I 
I 

I Heaven's cap held down to me I 

drain, 
I The sunshine mounts and spurs my 

brain; 
: Bathing in grass, with tlursty eye 
, I suck the last drop of the sky ; 
. With each hot sense I draw to the lees 
I The quickening out-door influences, 
' And empty to each radiant corner 
I A supernaculum of summer : 
Not, Bacchus, all thy grosser juice 
Could bring enchantment so profuse. 



Though for itspresseach grape*banch had 
The white feet of an Orrad. 

Through our coarse art gleam, now and 

then, 
The features of angelic men : 
'Neath the lewd Satyr's veiling paint 
Glows forth the Sibyl, Muse, or Saint ; 
The dauber's botch no more obecures 
The mighty master's portraitures. 
And who can say what luckier beam 
The hidden glory shall redeem. 
For what chance clod the soul may wait 
To stumble on its nobler fate. 
Or why, to his unwarned abode, 
Still by surprises comes the God ? 
Some moment, nailed on sorrow's cross, 
May meditate a whole youth's loss. 
Some windfall ioy, we know not whence, 
Redeem a lifetime's rash expense, 
And, suddenly wise, the soul may mark, 
Stripped of their simulated dark, 
Mountains of gold that pierce the sky, 
Girdling its viuleyed poverty. 

I feel ye, childhood's hopes, return. 
With olden heats my pulses bum, — 
Mine be the self-forgetting sweep. 
The torrent impulse swift and wild, 
Wherewith Taghkanic's rockboni child 
Dares gloriouH^ the dangerous leap. 
And, in his sky-desoended mood, 
Transmutes each drop of sluggish blood. 
By touch of bravery's simple wand. 
To amethyst and diamond, 
Proving himself no bastard slip. 
But the true granite>cradled one, 
Nursed with the rock's primeval drip^ 
The cloud-embracing mountain's son ! 

Prayer breathed in vain ! no wish's sway 
Rebuilds the vanished yesterday ; 
For plated waros of Sheffield stamp 
We gave the old Aladdin's lamp ; 
'T is we are changed ; ah, whitner went 
That undesigned abandonment. 
That wise, unquestioning content, 
"Which could erect its microcosm 
Out of a weed's neglected blossom. 
Could call up Arthur and his peere 
By a low moss's clump of spears, 
Or, in its shingle trirame launched, 
Where Charles in some green inlet 

branched. 
Could venture for the golden fleece 
And dragon-watched Hesperides, 
Or, from its ripple-shattered fate, 



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THE PIONEEB. 



91 



Yet it lies in my little one*8 cradle 
And sits in my little one's chair, 

And the light of the heaven she 's gone to 
Transligores its golden hair. 



THE PIONXEB. 

What man would live coffined vith 
brick and stone. 
Imprisoned from the influences of air, 
And cramped utath selfish landmarks 
everywhere, 
When all before him stretches, funow- 
less and lone. 
The unmapped prairie none can fence 
or own I 

What man would read and read the 
selfsame faces, 
And, like the marbles which the 

windmill grinds. 
Rub smooth forever Mrith the same 
smooth minds. 
This year retracing last year's, every 
year's, dull traces, 
When thei-e are woods and un-man- 
stifled i>laces? 

What man o'er one old thought would 
pore and pore. 
Shut like a txrak between its covers 

thin 
For every fool to leave his dog's- 
ears in. 
When solitude is his, and God forever- 
more. 
Just for the opening of a paltry door? 

What man would watch life's oozy 
element 
Creep Letheward forever, when he 

might 
Down some great river drift beyond 
men's sight. 
To where the undethroned forest's royal 
tent 
Broods with its hush o'er half a con- 
tinent? 

What man with men would push and 

altercate, 
Piecing out crooked means for 

crooked ends, 
When he can have the skies and 

woods for friends, 



Snatch back the rudder of his undis- 
mantled fate. 
And in himself be ruler, chureh, and 
state? 

Cast leaves and feathers rot in last 
year's nest. 
The winged brood, flown thence, 

new dwellings plan; 
The serf of his own Past is not a 
man; 
To change and change is life, to move 
and never rest; — 
Not what we are, but what we hope, 
is best. 

The wild, free woods make no man 
halt or blind; 
Cities rob men of eyes and hands 

and feet. 
Patching one whole of many incom- 
plete ; 
The general preys upon the individual 
mind. 
And each alone is helpless as the wind. 

Each man is some man's servant; 
. every soul 
Is by some other's presence quite 

discrowned ; 
Each owes the next through all the 
imperfect round. 
Yet not with mutual help ; each man is 
his own goal, 
And the whok earth must stop to pay 
his toll. 

Here, life the undiminished man de- 
mands ; 
New faculties stretch out to meet 

new wants ; 
What Nature asks, that Nature also 
grants; 
Here man is lord, not drudge, of eyes 
and feet and hands, 
And to his life is knit with hourly 
bands. 

Come out, then, from the old thoughts 
and old ways. 
Before you harden to a cr>*fltal cold 
Which the new life can shatter, but 
not mould ; 
Freedom for you still waits, still, look- 
ing backward, stays. 
But widens still the irretrievable 
space. 



; 92 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



LONCHKa 

Of all the myriad moods of mind 

That through the soul come thronging, 
Which one was e'er so dear, so kind, 

So beautiful as Longing! 
The thing we long for, that we are 

For one transcendent moment, 
Before the Present poor and bare 

Can make its snaering comment 

Still, through our paltry stir and strife^ 

Glows down the wiiihed Ideal, 
And Longing moulds in clay what Life 

Carves in the marble Real ; 
To let the new life in, we know. 

Desire must ope the portal ;— 
Perhaps the longing to De so 

Helps make the aoul immortaL 

Longing is God's fresh hearenward will 

With our poor earthward striving ; 
We quench it that we may be still 

Content with merely living; 
But, would we learn that heart's full 
scope 

Which we are hourly wronging, 
Our lives must climb m>m hope to hope 

And realize our longing. 

Ah ! let us hope that to our praise 

Good God not only reckons 
The moments when we tread his ways. 

But when the spirit beckons, — 
That some siieht good is also wronght 

Beyond selNsatisfaction, 
When we are simply good in thought, 

Howe'er we fail in action. 



ODE TO FRAKCS. 

FEBBUARY, 1848, 
I. 

As, flake by flake, the beetling ava- 
lanches 
Build up their imminent crags of 
noiseless snow, 
Till some chance thrill the loosened ruin 
launches 
And the blind havoc leaps unwarned 
below, 
So grew and gathered through the silent 
years 
The madness of a People, wrong by 
wrong. 



There seemed no strength in the dumb 

toiler's tears, 

Ko strength in suffering ; but the Past 

was strong : 

The brute despair of trampled centuries 

Leaped up with one hoarse yell and 

snapped its bands. 
Groped for its right with homy, cal- 
lous hands. 
And stared around for God with blood- 
shot eyes. 
What wonder if those palms were all 
too hard 
For nice distinctions, — if that maenad 
throng — 
They whose thick atmosphere no bard 
Had shivered with the liglitniDg of his 
sonff. 
Brutes with the memories and desires 

of men. 
Whose chronicles were writ with iron 
pen. 
In the crooked shoulder and the 
forehead low. 
Set wrong to balance wrong. 
And physicked woe with woe f 

II. 

They did as they were taught ; not theirs 

the blame, 
If men who scattered firebrands reaped 
the flame : 
They trampled Peace beneath their 
savage fi^t, 
And by her golden tresses drew 
Mercy along the pavement of the 
street 
Freedom ! Freedom ! is thy morning- 
dew 
So gory red? Alas, thy light had 

ne er 
Shone in upon the chaos of their 
lair! 
They reared to thee such symbol as they 
knew, 
And worshipped it with flame and 

blood, 
A Vengeance, axe in hand, that 
stc^ 
Holding a tyrant's head up by the clot- 
ted hair. 

III. 

What wrongs the Oppressor suffered^ 
these we know ; 
These have found piteous voice in song 
and prose ; 



ODS TO F&AKCE. 



93 ■ 



But for the OppTessed, their darkneat 
and^their woe. 
Their grinding oentariei^ — what Muse 
haid those ? 
Though hall and palaoe had nor eyes 
nor ears. 
Hardening a people's heart to senseless 
stone, 
Thou kuewest them, O EaKh, that 
drank their tears, 
Heaven, that heard their inarticu- 
late moan ! 
They noted down their fetters, link by 

link ; 
Coarse was the hand that scrawled, and 
red the ink ; 
JElude was their score, as suits unlet- 
tered men, 
Kotched with a headsman's axe upon 

a block : 
What marvel if, when came the aveng- 
ing shock, 
'Twas Ate^ not Urania, held the 
pen ? 

IV. 

With eye averted, and an anguished 
frown, 
Loathlngly glides the Muse through 
scenes of strife, 
Where, like the heart of Vengeance up 
and down. 
Throbs in its framework the blood- 
muffled knife ; 
Slow are the steps of Freedom, but her 
feet 
Turn never backward : hers no bloody 
glare; 
Her light is calm, and innocent, and 
sweet, 
And where it enters there is no de- 
spair: 
Kot first on palace and cathedral spire 
Quivers and gleams that unoonsuming 
fire ; 
While these stand black against her 
morning skies. 
The peasant sees it leap from peak to 
peak 
Alon^ his hills ; the craftsman's burn- 
ing eyes 
Own with cool tears Its influence mother- 
meek ; 
It lights the poet* 8 heart up like a 

star ; 
Ah ! while the tyrant deemed it still 
afar, 



And twined with golden threads his 
futile snare, 
That swift, convicting glow all round 
him ran ; 
'T was close beside him there. 
Sunrise whose Memnon is the soul of 
man. 

V. 

Broker-King, is this thy wisdom's 
fruit? 
A dynasty plucked out as 'twere a 

weed 
Grown rankly in a night, that leaves 
no seed! 
Could eighteen years strike down no 
deeper root f 
But now thy vulture eye was turned 
on Spain, — 
A shout from Paris, and thy crown falls 
off. 
Thy race has ceased to reign. 
And thou become a fugitive and scoff : 
Slippery the feet that mount by stairs 
of gold. 
And weakest of all fences one of steel ; — 
Go and keep school again like him of 
old, 
The Syracusan tyrant; — thou mayst 

feel 
Boyal amid abirch*swayed commonweal ! 

VI. 

Not long can he be ruler who allows 
His time to run before him; thou 
wast naught 
Soon as the strip of gold about thy brows 
Was no more emblem of the People's 
thought : 
Vain were thy bayonets against the foe 
Thou hadst to cope with ; thou didst 
wage 
War not with Frenchmen merely ; — no, 
Thy strife was with tiie Spirit of the 
Age, 
The invisible Spirit whose first breath 
divine 
Scattered thy frail endeavor, 
And, like poor last year's leaves, 
whirled thee and thine 
Into the Dark forever I 

VII. 

Is here no triumph? Nay, what 
thouffh 
The yellow blood of Trade meanwhile 
should pour 



94 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



Along its arteries a shrunken flow, 
And the idle canvas droop around the 
shore? 
These do not make a state, 
Nor keep it great ; 
I think God made 
The earth for man, not trade ; 
And where each humblest human crea- 
ture 
Can stand, no more suspicious or afraid, 
Ei'ect and kinsly in his right of nature, 
To heaven and earth knit with harmo- 
nious ties, — 
Where I behold the exultation 
Of manhood glowing in those eyes 
That had Men dark for ages, 
Or only lit with bestial loves and 
rages. 
There I behold a Nation : 

The France which lies 
Between the Pyrenees and Rhine 
Is the least part of France ; 
I see her rather in the soul whose shine 
Bums through the craftsman's grimy 
countenance. 
In the new energy divine 
Of Toil's enfranchised glance. 

VIII. 

And if it be a dream, — 
If the great Future be the little Past 
'Neath a new mask, which drops and 

shows at last 
The same weird, mocking face to balk 
and blast, — 
Yet, Muse, a gladder measure suits the 
uieme. 
And the Tyrtiean harp 
Loves notes more resolute and 
sharp, 
Throbbing, as throbs the bosom, hot 
and fast : 
Such visions are of morning, 
Theirs is no vague forewarning. 
The dreams which nations dream come 
true. 
And shape the world anew ; 
If this be a sleep. 
Make it long, make it deep, 
Father, who sendest the harvests men 
reap ! 
While I^abor so sleepeth. 
His sorrow is gone, 
No longer he wecpeth, 
But sniileth and steepeth 

His thoughts in the dawn ; 
He heareth Hope yonder 



Rain, lark-like, her fancies, 
His dreaming hands wander 

Mid heart's-ease and pansies ; 
" 'T is a dream I 'T is a vision !" 

Shrieks Mammon aghast ; 
'* The day's broad dension 

Will chase it at last ; 
Ye are mad, ye have taken 
A slumbering krakeu 

For firm land of the Past ! " 
Ah ! if he awaken, 

God shield us all then, 
If this dream rudely shaken 

Shall cheat him again ! 

IX. 

Since first I heard our North-wind 

blow. 
Since first I saw Atlantic throw 
On our fierce rocks his thunderous 

snow, 
I loved thee. Freedom ; as a boy 
The rattle of thy shield at Marathon 
Did with a Grecian joy 
Through all my pulses run ; 
But I have learned to love thee now 
Without the helm upon thy gleaming 
brow, 
A maiden mild and undefiled 
like her who bore the world's redeem- 
ing child ; 
And surely never did thine altars 

glance 
With purer tires than now in France ; 
While, in their bright white flashes, 
Wrong's shadow, backward cast. 
Waves cowering o'er the ashes 

Of the dead, blaspheming Past, 
O'er the shapes of fallen giants. 
His ovm unburied brood. 
Whose dead hands clench defiance 

At the overpowering Good : 
And down the happy future runs a flood 

Of prophesying light ; 
It shows an Earih no longer stained 

with blood. 
Blossom and fruit where now we see the 
bud 
Of Brotherhood and Right 



ANTI-APIS. 

PRAI8E8T Law, friend ? We, too, love it 
much as they that love it b^t ; 

'T is the deep, august foundation, where* 
on Peace and Justice rest; 



_J 



i4» 



' ;' 



TMUNDEKOU5 STIOW." — Plgt 94- 



"^ 



T:!- r::w -'^hk 
■"■;■ ■; LiB^'ARY 



ANTI-APIS. 



95 



On the rock primeYal, hidden in the 

Past its bases be, 
Block by block the endeavoring Ages 

built it up to what we see. 

Bat dig down ; the Old unbory ; thou 

shalt find on every stone 
That each Age hath carved the symbol 

of what god to them was known. 
Ugly shapes and brutish sometimes, bat 

the fairest that they knew ; 
If their sight were dim and earthward, 

yet their hope and aim were true. 

Surely as the unconscious needle feels 
the far-off loadstar draw, 

So strives every gracious nature to at- 
one itself with law ; 

And the elder Saints and Sages laid their 
pious framework right 

By a theocratic instinct covered from the 
people's sight. 

As their gods were, so their laws were ; 

Thor the strong could reave and 

steal. 
So through many a peaceful inlet tore the 

Norseman's eager keel ; 
But a new law came when Christ came, 

and not blameless, as before. 
Can we, paying him our lip-tithes, give 

our lives and faiths to Thor. 

Law is holy : ay, but what law ? Is there 
nothing more divine 

Than the patched-up broils of Congress, 
— venal, full or meat and wine ? 

Is there, say yon, nothing higher? 
Naught, God save us ! that tran- 
scends 

Laws of cotton texture, wove by vnlgar 
men for vulgar ends ? 

Did Jehovah ask their counsel, or sub- 
mit to them a plan, 

Ere he filled with loves, hopes, longings, 
this aspiring heart of man ! 

For their eoict does the soul wait, ere it 
swing round to the pole 

Of the true, the free, the God-willed, all 
that makes it be a soul ? 

Law is holy ; but not your law, ye who 

keep the tablets whole 
Wliile ye dash the Law to pieces, shatter 

it in life and soul ; 



Bearing up the Ark is lightsome, golden 

Apis hid within. 
While we Levites share the offerings, 

richer by the people's sin. 

Give to Cssar what is Cfesar's ? yes, but 
tell me, if you can, 

Is thU superscription Caesar's here upon 
our brother man ? 

Is not here some other's image, dark and 
sullied though it be, 

In this fellow-soul that worships, strag- 
gles Godward even as we ? 

It was not to such a future that the May- 
flower's prow was turned ; 

Not to such a faith the martyrs clung, 
exulting as they burned ; 

Not by such laws are men fashioned, 
earnest, simple, valiant, great 

In the household virtues whereon rests 
the unconquerable state. 

Ah ! there is a higher gospel, overhead 

the God-.rpof springs. 
And each glad, obedient planet like a 

golden shuttle sings 
Through the web which Time is weaving 

in his never-resting loom, — 
Weaving seasons many-colored, bringing 

prophecy to doom. 

Think you Troth a farthing nishlight, 
to be pinched out when you will 

With your deft official fingers, and your 
politicians' skill ? 

Is your God a wooden fetish, to be hid- 
den out of sight 

That his block eyes may not see you do 
the thing that is not right ? 

But the Destinies think not so ; to their 

judgment-chamber lone 
Comes no noise of popular clamor, there 

Fame's trompet is not blown ; 
Your majorities they reck not; — that 

you grant, but then you say 
That you differ with them somewhat, — 

which is stronger, you or they 1 

Patient are they as the insects that build 

islands in the deep ; 
They hurl not the bolted thunder, bu* 

their silent way they keep ; 



96 



MISCELLANEOUB POEMS. 



Where they have been that we know ; 

where empires towered that were not 

just ; 
Lo ! the skulking wild fox scntchee in a 

little heap of dust. 



185L 



▲ FARABUL 



Said Christ our Lord, "I will ao and see 
How the men, my htethien, helieve in 

me. 
He passed not again through the gate of 

birth, 
But made himself known to the children 

of earth. 

Then said the chief piietta, and rulers, 

and kings, 
*^ Behold, now, the Oirer of all good 

things ; 
Go to, let us welcome with pomp and 

state 
Him who alone is mighty and great." 

With carpets of gold the ground they 

spread 
Wherever the Son of Man should tread, 
And in nalace-charabers lofty and rare 
They loaged him, and served him with 

kingly fare. 

Great oi^ns sui^yped through arches dim 
Their jubilant floods in praise of him ; 
And in church, and puaoe, and judg- 
ment-hall, 
He saw his image high over aU« 

But still, wherever his steps the^ led. 
The Lord in sorrow bent down his head, 
And from under the heavy foundation- 
stones, 
The son of Mary heard bitter groans. 

And in church, and palaoe, and judg- 
ment-ball. 

He marked great fissures that rent the 
wall. 

And opened wider and yet more wide 

As the living foundation heaved and 
sighed. 

"Have ye founded your thrones and 

altars, then. 
On the bodies and souls of living men I 
And think ye that building shall endure, 
Which shelters the noble and crushes the 

poor? 



" With gates of tXlrer and bars of gold 
Ye have fenced my sheep fenn Uieir 

Father's fold { 
I have heard the dropping of their tears 
In heaven these eighteen hundred years." 

" O Lord and Master, not ours the guilt, 
We build but as our fathers built ; 
Behold thine images, how they stand. 
Sovereign and sole, through all our land. 

"Our task is hard, — with sword sod 

flame 
To hold thine earth forever the same, 
And with sharp crooks of steel to keep 
Still, as thou leftest them, thy sheep. ' 

Then Christ sought out an artisan, 
A low-browed, stunted, haggard man, 
And a motherless girl, whose fingers thin 
Pushed ttom her uintly want and sin. 

These set he in the midst of them. 
And as they drew back their garmeBt> 

hem. 
For fear of defilement, " Lo, here," said 

he, 
** The images ye have made of me !" 



ODS 

WRITTEN FOR THE CELEBRATION 07 
THE INTHODUCTION OF THE COCHIT. 
UATB WATER INTO THE CITT OF 
BOSTON. 

My name is Water : I have sped 
Through strange, dark ways, untried 
before. 

By pure desire of friendship led, 
Cochituate's ambassador ; 

He sends four royal gifts by me : 

Long life, health, peace, and purity. 

I *m Ceres' cup-bearer ; I pour. 
For flowers and fruits and all their kin. 

Her crystal vintage, from of yore 
Stored in old Earth's selectest .bin. 

Flora's Falemian ripe, since God 

The wine-press of the deluge trod. 

In that far isle whence, iron -willed. 
The New World's sires their bark 
unmoored. 

The fairies' acom-cuns I filled 
Upon the toadstool's silver board. 



LINES. 



97 



I 



I 



I 



And, 'neath Heme's oak, for Shake- 
speare's siffht. 

Strewed moss ana grass with diamonds 
bright 

No fairies in the Mayflower came, 
And, lightsome as I sparkle here, 

For Mother Bay State, busy dame, 
I 've toiled and drudged this many a 
year, 

Throbbed in her engines' iron veins, 

Twirled myriad spindles for her gains. 

I, too, can weave : the warp I set 
Through which the sun his shuttle 
throws. 

And, bright as Noah saw it, yet 
For you the arching rainbow glows, 

A sight in Paradise denied 

To unfallen Adam and his brid& 

When Winter held me in his grip, 
You seized and sent me o'er the wave, 

Ungrateful ! in a prison-ship ; 
But I forgive, not long a slave. 

For, soon as summer south-winds blew, 

Homeward I fled, disguised as dew. 

For countless services I 'm fit. 
Of use, of pleasure, and of gain. 

But lightly from all bonds I flit. 
Nor lose my mirth, nor feel a stain ; 

From mill and wash-tub I escape. 

And take in heaven my proper shape. 

So, free myself, to-day, elate 
I come m>m far o'er hill and mead, 

And here, Cochituate's envoy, wait 
To be your blithesome Ganymede, 

And brim your cups with nectar true 

That never will make slaves of yon. 



SUGGESTED BY THE GBAYBS 
ENGLISH SOLDIERS ON 
BAITLE-OROUND. 



OF TWO 
CONCOED 



The same good blood that now refills 
The dotartl Orient's shrunken veins, 
The same whose vigor westward thrills, 
Burstinff Nevada's silver chains, 
Poured here upon the April grass, 
Freckled with red the herbage new ; 
On reeled the battle's trampling mass, 
Back to the ash the bluebird flew. 

7 



Poured here in vain ; — that sturtly blood 
Was meant to make the earth more 

green, 
But in a higher, gentler mood 
Than broke this April noon serene ; 
Two graves are here : to mark the place, 
At head and foot, an unhewn stone. 
O'er which the herald lichens trace 
The blazon of Oblivion. 

These men were brave enough, and true 
To the hired soldier's bull-doc creed ; 
What brought them here uiey never 

knew, 
They fought as suits the English breed : 
They came three thousand miles, and 

died, 
To keep the Past upon its throne ; 
Unheanl, beyond the ocean tide. 
Their English mother made her moan. 

The turf that covers them no thrill 
Sends up to fire the heart and brain ; 
No stronger purpose nerves the will. 
No hope renews its youth again :* 
From farm to farm the Concord glides, 
And trails my fancy with its flow ; 
O'erhead the balanced hen-hawk slides. 
Twinned in the river's heaven below. 

But go, whose Bay State bosom stirs. 
Proud of thy birth and neighbor's right. 
Where sleep the heroic villagers 
Borne red and stiff* from Concord fight ; 
Thought Reuben, snatching down his 

gun. 
Or Seth, as ebbed the life away. 
What earthquake rifts would shoot and 

run 
World-wide from that short April fray ? 

What then ? With heart and hand they 

wrought. 
According to their village light ; 
'T was for the Future that they fought, 
Their rustic faith in what was right. 
Upon earth's tragic stage they burst 
Unsummoned, in the humble sock ; 
Theirs the fifth act ; the curtain first 
Rose long ago on Charles's block. 

Their graves have voices ; if they threw 
Dice charged with fates beyond their 

ken, 
Yet to their instincts they were true, 
And had the genius to be men. 



98 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMa 



I 



Fine privilege of Freedom's host, 
Of even foot-soldiers for the Ri^ht ! •— 
For centuries dead, ye are not lost, 
Your graves aead eourago fort^ nut 
might 



I 



TO 



We, too, have autumns, when our leaves 
Drop loosely through the dampened 
air, ' 

When all our good memt hound in 
sheaves. 
And we stand reaped and have. 

Our seasons have no fixed i^tums^ 
Without our will they come and go ; 

At noon our sudden summer hums, 
Ere sunset all is sbow. 

But each day hrings less summer cheer, 
Crimps more our ineffectual spring 

And something eai'Iier every year 
Our singing birds take wmg. 

As less the olden ^low abides. 
And less the chillier heart aspires. 

With drift-wood beached in past spring 
tides 
We light our sullen fires. 

By the pinched nwhli^t'a ftarving 
beam 
We cower and strain onr wastsd sight, 
To stitch youth's shroud up, seam by 
seam, 
In the long aretie night 

It was not 80 — we once were young — 
When Spring, to wooMinly' Summer 
turning. 
Her dew-drops on each grass-blade 
strung, 
In the red sunrise burning* 

We trusted then, aspired, believed 
That earth could be remade to-mor- 
row; — 

Ah, why be ever undeceived ? 
Why give up faith for sorrow T 

O thou, whose days are yet all spring. 
Faith, bl^^ted once, is past retnev* 
ing; 

Experience is a dumb, dead thing ; 
The victory 'a in believing. 



Aks we^ then, wholly fallen ? Can it be 
That thou. North wind, that from thy 

mountains bringest 
Their spirit to our j^ains, and thou, 

blue sea. 
Who on our rocks thy wreaths of free- 
dom flingest. 
As on an altar, — can it be that ye 
Have wasted inspiration on dead ears^ 
Dulled with the too famUiar clank of 

chains ? 
The people's heart is like a harp for 

years 
Hunff where some petrifying torrent rains 
Its sTow-Hkenisting spray : the stiffened 

chords 
Faint and more iaint make answer to the 

tears 
That drip upon them : idle are all worrls: 
Only a ulver plectrum wakes the tone 
Deep buried 'seath that ever-thiekeniDg 

stone« 

We are not fVee: Freedom doth not 

consist 
In musing with our faces toward the 

Past, 
While petty cares, and crawling inter- 

ests, twist 
Their spider-threads about us, which tX 

last 
Grow strong as iron chains, to cramp 

and bind 
In formal narrowness heart soul, and 

mind. 
Freedom is recreated year by year. 
In hearts wide open on the God ward side» 
In souls calm-cadenced as the whirling 

sphere, 
In minds that sway the future like a tide. 
No broadest creeds can hold her, and no 

codes ; 
She chooses men for her august abodes* 
Buildinff them fhir and fronting to the 

oawn ; 
Yet when we seek her, we but find a 

few 
Light footprints, leading mom-wani 

through the dew : 
Before the day had risen, she was gone* 

And we must follow : swiftly runs she on, 
And, if our steps should slacken in de- 
spair, 



» . • • 



[ 



^! 



VuKK 



BIBUOLATRES. 



99 



Half turns hfv fiice, half smiles throu^ 

golden hair, 
Forever yielding, never wholly won : 
That is not love which pauiies in the nee 
Two close-linked names on fleeting sand 

to trace; 
Freedom gained yesterday is no more 

ours ; 
Men gather bnt dry seeds of kst year's 

flowers ; 
Still there 's a charm ungranted, sfciU a 

grace, 
Still rosy Hope, the free, the nnattained, 
Makes us PoaMssion's languid hand let 

faU; 
T is but a fragment of ourselves is 

gained, — 
The Future brings us more, bat never 

all. 

And, as the finder of some unknown 

realm. 
Mounting a summit whence he thinks to 

see 
On either side of him the imprisoning 



I Beholds, above the clouds that over- 
whelm 

The valley-land, peak after snowy peak 

Stretdi out of sight, each like a silver 
helm 

Beneath its plume of smoke, sublime 
and bleak. 

And what he thought an island finds to 
be 

A continent to him first oped, — so we 

Can from our height of Freedom look 
along 

A boundless future, ours if we be strong ; 

Or if we shrink, better remount our 
ships 

And, fleeing God's express design, trace 
back 

The hero-freighted Mayflower's prophet- 
track 

To Europe, entering her blood-red eclipee. 

BIBUOLATRES. 

I 

i Bowing thyself in dust before a Book, 
{ And thinking the great God is thine 
alone, 
rash iconoclast, thou wilt not brook 
What gods the heathen carves in wood 

and stone. 
As if the Shepherd who from outer cold 



Leads all his shivering lambs to one suro 

fold 
Were careful for the fashion of his crook. 

There is no broken reed so poor and hMe, 

No rush, the bending tilt of swamp-fly 
blue, 

But he therewith the ravening wolf can 
chase. 

And guide his flock to springs and pas- 
tures new ; 

Through ways unlooked for, and through 
many lands. 

Far from the rich folds built with human 
hands. 

The gracious footprints of his love I 
trace. 

And what art thou, own brother of the 

clod. 
That from his hand the crook would 

snatch away 
And shake instead thy dry and sapless 

rod. 
To scare the sheep out of the wholesome 

day? 
Yea, what art thou, blind, unconverted 

Jew, 
That with thy idol-volume's covers two 
Wouldst make a jail to coop the living 

God! 

Thou hear'st not well the mountain 

organ-tones 
By prophet ears from Hor and Sinai 

caught. 
Thinking the cisterns of those Hebrew 

brains 
Drew diy the springs of the All-knower's 

thought. 
Nor shall thy lips be touched with liv. 

ing fire. 
Who blow'st old altar-coals with sole 

desire 
To weld anew the spirit's broken chains. 

God is not dumb, that he should speak 
no more ; 

If thou hast wanderings in the wilder- 
ness 

And find'st not Sinai, *t is thy soul is 
poor; 

There towers the mountain of the Voice 
no less. 

Which whoso seeks shall find, but he 
who bends. 



8251SS 



100 



MISCELLANEOUS POEMS. 



Intent on manna still and mortal ends, 
Sees it not, neither hears its thimdex^ 
lore. 

Slowly the Bible of the race is writ, 
And not on paper leaves nor leaves of 

stone; 
Each age, each kindred, adds a verse 

to it. 
Texts of despair or hope, of ^07 or moan. 
While swings the sea, while mists the 

mountains shroud. 
While thunder's sui^ges burst on clifis of 

cloud, 
Still at the prophets* feet the nations sit 



BKAVER BROOK. 

Hushed with broad sunlight lies the 

hill, 
And, minuting the long day's loss. 
The cedar s shadow, slow and still, 
Creeps o'er its dial of gray moss. 

Warm noon brims full the valley's cup, 
The aspen's leaves are scarce astir ; 
Onlv the little mill sends up 
Its busy, never-ceasing burr. 

Climbing the loose-piled wall that hems 
The road along the mill-pond's brink. 
From 'neath the arching oarberry-stems, 
My footstep scares the shy chewink. 

Beneath a bony bnttonwood 
The mill's red door lets forth the din ; 
The whitened miller, dust-imbued. 
Flits past the square of dark within. 

No mountain torrent's strength is here ; 
Sweet Beaver, child of forest still, 



Heaps its small pitcher to the ear. 
And gently waits the miller's will. 

Swift slips Undine along the race 
Unheard, and then, with flashing bound. 
Floods the dull wheel with light and 

grace. 
And, laughing, hunts the loath drudge 

round. 

The miller dreams not at what cost 
The quivering millstones hum and 

whirl. 
Nor how for every turn are tost 
Amifuls of diamond and of pearl. 

But Summer cleared my happier eyes 
With drops of some celestial juice. 
To see how Beauty underlies, 
Forevermore each form of use. 

And more ; methought I saw that flood. 
Which now so dull and darkling steals. 
Thick, here and there, with human 

blood, 
To turn the world's laborious wheels. 

No more than doth the miller there, 
Shut in our several cells, do we 
Know with what waste of beauty rare 
Moves every day's machinery. 

Surely the wuKr time shall come 
When this fine overplus of might. 
No longer sullen, slow, and dumb. 
Shall leap to music and to light. 

In that new childhood of the Earth 
Life of itself shall dance and play. 
Fresh blood in Time's shrunk veins make 

mirth. 
And labor meet delight half-way. 



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KOSSXnU — TO lAMABTINE. 



"'1 

101 j 



MEMORIAL VERSES, 



KOSSUTH. 

A RACE of nobles may die out, 
A royftl line may leave no heir ; 
Wise Nature sets no guards about 
Her pewter plate and wooden ware. 

But they fail not, the kinglier breed. 
Who starry diadems attain ; 
To dungeon, axe, and stake succeed 
Heirs of the old heroic strain. 

The zeal of Kature never cools, 
Nor is she thwarted of her ends ; 
When gapped and dulled her cheaper 

tools. 
Then she a saint and prophet spends. 

Land of the Magyars ! though it be 
The tyrant may relink his chain, 
Already thine the victory, 
As the just Future measures gain. 

Thou hast succeeded, thou hast won 
The deathly travail's amplest worth ; 
A nation's duty thou hast done, 
Giving a hero to our earth. 

And he, let come what will of woe. 
Hath saved the land he strove to save ; 
No Cossack hordes, no traitor's blow, 
Can quench the voice shall haunt his 
grave. 

" 1 Kossuth am : Future, thou 
That clear'st the just and blott'st the 

vile. 
O'er this small dust in reverence bow. 
Remembering what I was erewhile. 

" I was the chosen trump wherethrough 
Oiir God sent forth awakening breath ; 
Came chains? Came death? The strain 

He blew 
Sounds on, outliving chains and death." 



TO LAMAJtnNE. 

1848. 

I DID not nraise thee when the crowd, 
'Witched with the moment's inspi- 
ration, 
Vexed thy still ether with hosannas loud, 
And stamped their dusty adoration ; 
I but looked upward with the rest, 
And, when they shouted Greatest, whis- 
pered Best. 

They raised thee not, bnt rose to thee, 
Their fickle wreaths about thee fling- 
ing; 
So on some marble Phcebus the high sea 

Might leave his worthless seaweed 
clinging, 
Bnt pious hands, with reverent care, 
Make the pure- limbs once more sub- 
limely bare. 

Now thou 'rt thy plain, grand self again, 
Thou art secure from panegyric, — 
Thou who gav'st politics an epic strain, 
And actedst Freedoms noblest 
lyric; 
This side the Blessed Isles, no ti'ee 
Grows green enough to make a wreath 
K>r thee. 

Nor can blame cling to thee ; the snow 
From swinish footprints takes no 
staining. 
But, leaving the gross soils of earth be- 
low, 
Its spirit mounts, the skies regain- 
ing. 
And unresentful falls again, 

To beautify the world with dews and 
rain. 

The highest duty to mere man vouch- 
safed 
Was laid on thee, — out of wild 
chaos, 



r 



102 



MEHOKIAL TERSE8. 



When the roused popular ocean foamed 
and chafed, 
And vulture War from his Imaoa 
Snuffed blood, to Bummon homely 
Peace, 
And show that only order ii release;. 

To carve thy fullest thought, what 
though 
Time was not granted f Aye in 
history, 
Like that Dawn's fisce which baffled 
Angelo 
Left sliapeless, grander for its mys- 
tery, 
Thv f;reat Design shall stand, and day 
Flood Its blind front from Orients far 
away. 

Who says thy day is o'er? Control, 

My heart, that bitter first emotion ; 
While men shall reverence the steadfast 
soul, 
The heart in silent self-devotion 
Bi'eaking, the mild, heroic mien, 
Thou 'It need no prop of marble, Lamar- 
tine. 

If France reject thee, *t is not thine. 

But her own, exile that she utters ; 
Ideal France, the deathless, the divine. 
Will be where thy white pennon 
flutters. 
As once the nobler Athens went 
With Aristides into banishment. 

"No fitting metewand hath To-day 

For measuring spirits of thy stat- 
ure; 
Only the Future can reach up to lay 
The laurel on that lofty nature, 
Bard, who with some diviner art 
Hast touched the bard's true lyre, a na- 
tion's heart. 

Swept by thy hand, the gladdened 
chords, 
Crashed now in discords fierce by 
others. 
Gave forth one note beyond all skill of 
words. 
And chimed together, We are broth- 
era. 
poem unsurpassed ! it ran 
All round the world, unlocking man to 
nw-n. 



France is too poor to pay alone 

The service of that ample spirit ; 
Paltry seem low dictatorship! ana throne. 
If balanced with thy simple merit. 
They had to thee been rust and loss ; 
Thy aim was higher, — thou hast climbeid 
a Cross 1 



TO JOHN G. PALFRET. 

There are who triumph in a losing 
cause, 
Who can put on defeat, as 't were a 

wreath 
Unwithering in the adverse popular 
breath, 
Safe from the blasting demagogue's 

applause ; 
'T is tnev who stand for Freedom and 
God's laws. 

And so stands Pallrey now, as M arreli 

stood, 
Loyal to Truth dethroned, nor could be 
wooed 
To trust the playful t]g(*r*s velvet 
paws : 
And if the second Charles bronght in 
decay 
Of ancient virtue, if it well might 
wring 
Souls that had broadened 'neath a 
nobler day. 
To see a losel,* maricetable king 
Fearfully watering with his realm's best 
blood 
Cromwell's quenched bolts, that erst 
had cracked and flamed. 
Scaring, through all their depths of 
courtier mud, 
Europe's crowned bloodsuckers, — 
now more ashamed 
Ought we to be, who see Corruption's 
flood 
Still rise o'er last year's mark, to 

mine away 
Our brazen idols' feet of treacherous 
clay! 

utter degradation ! Freedom turned 
Slavery's vile bawd, to cozen and be- 
tray 
To the old lecher's dutch a maiden 
prey. 
If so a loathsome pander's fee be 
earned! 



TO W. L. GARtOSON. 



103 



And we are 8ilent»--irt who daily 
tread 
A soil BaUime, at least, with heroaa' 
graves! — 
Beckon no more, shades of the noble 
dead! 
Be dam by ye heaven-tonched lips of 
winds and vraves I 
Or hope to rouse some Coptic dallard, 
hid 
A^ ago, wrapt stiffly, fold on fold* 
With cerements close, to wither in the 
cold 
Forever hushed, and sunless pyramid ! 

Beauty and Truth, and all that these 

contahi. 
Drop not like ripened fruit about our 

feet; 
We clioib to them through years of 

sweat and pain ; 
Without long struggle, none did e*er 

attain 
The downward look from Quiet's bliss- 
ful seat : 
Though present loss may be the hero's 

part, 
Yet none can rob him of the Tictor 

heai-t 
Whereby the broad-realmed future h 

subdued. 
And Wrong, which now insults from 

triuniim's car. 
Bending her vulture hope to rmren 

far. 
Is made unwilling tributary of Good. 

Mother State, how quenched thy 
Sinai fires ! 
Is there none left of thy stanch May- 
flower breed f 
Ko spark among the ashes of thy sires, 
Of Virtue's altar-flame the kindling 
seed? 
Are tliese thy sreat men, these that 
cringe and creep. 
And writhe through slimy ways to 
place and power ? — 
How long, Lord, before thy wrath 
shall reap 
Oar frail-stemmed summer prosper- 
ings in their flower! 
for one hour of that undaunted 

stock 
That "went with Vane and Sydney to 
the block I 



for a whiiT of Naseby, that would 
sweep. 
With its stem Puritan besom, all this 

chaff 
From the Lord's threshing-floor! Yet 
more than half 
The victory is attained, when one or 
two, 
Through the fool's laughter and the 

traitor's soom, 
Beside thy sepulchre can bide the 
monif 
Crucified Truth, when thou ahalt ribe 
anew. 



TO W. L. 0ARRI80K. 

"Some time afterward, it waa reported to nM 
bjr the dty ofRcera that they had ferreted <ntt 
tlia paper and tta editor : that hie ofBce waa an 
obacnre hole, hie only viaible auxiliary a negro 
boy, and bla attpuortem a few very Inaignifl- 
cant peiBons of all colon." ^ Letter o/ir. 0, 
(Hit. 

In a small chamber, friendless and un- 
seen, 
Toiled o'er his types one poor, un- 
learned young man; 
The plaoe waa dark, uufumitured, and 
mean; — 
Yet there the freedom of a raoe began* 

Help came but slowly ; surely no man 
yet 
Put lever to the heavy world with 
less: 
What need of helpT He knew bow 
types were set, 
He had a dauntleas ipirit, and a 
press. 

Such earnest natures are the fiery pith, 
The compact nucleus, round which 
systems grow ! 
Mass after mass becomes inspired there* 
with. 
And whirls impngnate with the cen- 
tral glow. 

Truth 1 Freedom I how are ye still 
bom 
In the rude stable, in the mang^^r 
nursed ! 
What humble hands unbar those gates 
of mom 
Throuffh which the splendors of the 
New Day burst ! 



i 104 



MEMORIAL VERSES. 



What! ahall one monk, scarce known 
beyond his cell, 
Front Home's far-reaching bolts, and 
scorn her frown F 
Brave Lnther answered Yes ; that thun> 
der's swell 
Rocked Europe, and dischanned the 
triple crown. 

Whatever can be known of earth we 
know, 
Sneered Europe's wise men, in their 
snail-shells curled ; 
No! said one man in Genoa, and that 
No 
Out of the dark created this New 
World. 

Who is it will not dare himself to trust ? 
Who is it hath not strength to stand 
alone? 
Who is it thwarts and bilks the inward 

MUST? 

He and his w^orks, like sand, from 
earth are blown. 

Men of a thousand shifts and wiles, 

look here! 

See one straightforward conscience 

put in pawn 

To win a world ; see the obedient sphere 

By bravery's simple gravitation drawn I 

Shall we not heed the lesson taught of 
old, 
And by the Present's lips repeated 
still, 
In our own single manhood to be bold, 
Foiti^ssed in conscience and impreg- 
nable will ? 

We stride the river daily at its spring, 
Nor, in our childish thoughtlessness, 
foresee, 
What myriad vassal streams shall trib- 
ute bring. 
How like an equal it shall greet the 
sea. 

small beginnings, ye are great and 
strong. 
Based on a faithful heart and weari- 
less brain ! 
Ye build the future fair, ye conquer 
wrong, 
Ye eani the crown, and wear it not in 
vain. 



OK THE DEATH OF C. T. TOBBBT. 

Woe worth the hour when it is crime 
To plead the poor dumb bondman's 
cause, 
When all that malces the heart sublime, 
The glorious throbs that conquer time. 
Are traitors to our cruel laws ! 

He strove among God's suffering poor 
One gleam of brotherhood to send ; 
The dungeon ojied its hungry door 
To save the truth one martyr more. 
Then shut,— and here behold the 
end ! 

Mother State ! when this was done. 
No pitving throe thy bosom gave ; 

Silent thou saw'st the death-shroud 
spun. 

And now thou givest to thy son 
The stranger's charity, — a grave. 

Must it be thus forever ? No I 

The hand of God sows not in vain ; 
Long sleeps the dai'kling seed below. 
The seasons come, and change, and go. 
And all the fields are deep with grain.* 

Although our brother lie asleep, 

Man's heart still struggles, still 

pires; 

His grave shall quiver yet, while deep 

Through the brave Bay State's puli 

leap 

Her ancient enei^gies and fires. 

When hours like this the senses' gush 

Have stilled, and left the spirit room. 
It hears amid the eternal husn 
The swooping pinions' dreadful rash. 
That bring the vengeance and the 
doom ; — 

Not man's brate vengeance, such as rends 

What rivets man to man apart, — 
God doth not so bring round his ends. 
But waits the ripened time, and sends 
His mercy to the oppressor's heart. 



ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF D&. 
CHAKNINO. 

I DO not come to weep above thy pall. 
And mourn the dying-out of noUe 
powers; 



-J 



ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF DR. OHANKING. 



105 



The poet*8 clearer eye should see, in all 
Earth's seeming woe, the seed of 
Heaven's flowera. 

Troth needs no champions : in the infi- 
nite deep 
Of eTerlastmg Soul her strengUi 
abides. 
From Nature's heart her mighty pulses 
leap, 
Through Nature's veins her strength, 
undying, tides. 

Peace is more strong than war, and gen- 
tlenefis. 
Where force were vain, makes con- 
quest o'er the wave ; 
And love lives on and hath a power to 
bless. 
When they who loved are hidden in 
the grave. 

The sculptured marble brags of death- 
strewn fields, 
And Glory's epitaph is writ in blood; 
But Alexander now to Plato viclds, 
Clarkson will stand where Wellington 
hath stood. 

I watch the circle of the eternal years. 
And read forever in the storied page 
One lengthened roll of blood, and wrong, 
and tears, — 
One onward step of Truth from age to 
age. 

The poor are crushed ; the tyrants link 
their chain ; 
The poet sings through narrow dun- 



geon-grates; 
*s noT>e lies an 

idfast gai 
Freedom doth forge her mail of adverse 



Man's hope lies anenched ; — and, lo ! 
with steadfast 



un 



fates. 



Hen slay the prophets ; fagot, rack, and 
cross 
Make up the groaning record of the 
past; . 
But Evil's triymphs are her endless loss, 
And sovereign Beauty wins the soul 
at last. 

No power can die that ever wrought for 
Truth; 
Thereby a law of Nature it became, 



And lives unwithered in its sinewy 
youth, 
When he who called it forth is hut a 
name. 

Therefore I cannot think thee wholly 
gone; 
The Detter part of thee is with us 
still ; 
Thy soul its hampering clay aside hath 
thrown. 
And only freer wrestles with the III. 

Thou livest in the life of all good things ; 
What words thou spak'st for Freedom 
shall not die ; 
Thou sleepest not, for now thy Love hath 
wings 
To soar where hence thy Hope could 
hardly fly. 

And often, from that other world, on 
this 
Some gleams from great souls gone 
before may shine., 
To shed on struggling hearts a clearer 
bliss. 
And clothe the Right with lustre more 
divine. 

Thou art not Idle : in thy higher sphere 
Thy spirit bends itself to loving tasks, 

And strength to perfect what it dreamed 
of here 
Is all the crown and glory that it asks. 

For sure, in Heaven's wide chamben, 
there is room 
For love and pity, and for helpful 
deeds; 
Else were our summons thither but a 
doom 
To life more vain than this in clayey 
weeds. 

From off the starry mountain-peak of 
song. 
Thy spirit shows me, in the coming 
time, 
An earth unwithered by the foot of 
wrong, 
A race revering its own soul sublime. 

What wars, what martyrdoms, what 
crimes, may come, 
Thou knowest not, nor I; but God 
will lead 



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THE VISION OF SIB ULUNFAL. 



107 



THE VISION OF SIR LAUNFAL. 



PRELUDE TO PART FIRST. 

OvRR his keys the musing or^nist, 

Beginning doubtfolly and far away, 
First letA his fingers wander as they fist. 
And builds a bridge from Dreamland 
for his lay : 
Then, as the touch of his loved instru- 
ment 
Gives hope and fervor, nearer draws 
his theme. 
First guessed by £fiint auroral flushes 
sent 
Along the wavering vista of his dream. 



Kot only around our infancy 
Doth heaven with all its splendors He ; 
Daily, with souls that cringe and plot, 
We Sinais climb and know it not. 

Over our manhood bend the dcies ; 

Against our fallen and traitor lives 
The great winds utter prophecies ; 

With our faint heaits the mountain 
strives ; 
Its arms outstretched, the druid wood 

Waits with its benedicite ; 
And to our a^'s drowsy blood 

Still shouts the inspiiing sea. 

Earth gets its price for what Earth gives 
us ; 
The be^^r is taxed for a comer to die 
in, 
The priest hath lus fee who comes snd 
shrives us. 
We bai^in for the graves we lie in ; 
At the devirs booth are all things sold, 
Each ounce of dross costs its ounce of 
gold; 
For a cnp and bells our lives we pay, 
Bubbles we buy with a whole soul's 
tasking : 
'T is heaven alone that is given awav, 
T is only God may be had for the ask- 
ing > 



No price is set on the lavish summer ; 
June may be had by the poorest comer. 

And what is so rare as a day in June ? 

Then, if ever, come perfect days ; 
Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in 
tune, 
And over it softly her warm ear lays: 
Whether we look, or whether we listen. 
We hear life murmur, or see it glisten ; 
Every clod feels a stir of might. 
An instinct within it that reaches and 
towers, 
And, groping blindly above it for light. 
Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers ; 
The flush of life may well be seen 

Thrilling back over hills and valleys ; 
The cowslip startles in meadows green. 
The buttercup catches the sun in its 
chalice. 
And there 's never a leaf nor a blade too 
mean 
To be some happy creature's palace ; 
The little bird sits at his door in the 
sun, 
Atilt like a blossom among the leaves. 
And lets his illumined being o'errun 

With the deluge of summer it receives ; 
His mate feels the eggs beneath her 

wings, 
And the heart in her dumb breast flutters 

and sings ; 
He sings to the wide world, and she to 

ner nest, — 
In the nice ear of Nature which song is 
the best? 

Now is the high-tide of the year. 

And whatever of life hath ebbed away 

Comes flooding back with a rip))ly cheer. 

Into every Dare inlet and creek and 

bay; 
Now the heart is so full that a drop 

overfills it. 
We are happy now because Qod willn it ; 
No matter how barren the jiast may 

have been, 



[lOS 



THE VISION OF SIR LAUNFAL. 



'T ia enough for as now that the leaves 

are ffreen ; 
We sit in the warm shade and feel right 

well 
How the sap creeps up and the blossoms 

swell ; 
We may shut our eyes, hut we cannot 

help knowing 
That skies are clear and grass is grow- 
ing; 
The breeze comes whispering in our ear, 
That dandelions are blossoming near, 
That maize has sprouted, that streams 

are Howing, 
That the river is bluer than the sky. 
That the robin is plastering his house 

hard by; 
And if the breeze kept the good news 

back. 
For other couriers we should not lack ; 
We could guess it all by yon heifer's 

lowing, — 
And hark ! how clear bold chanticleer. 
Wanned with the new wine of the year. 
Tells all in his lusty crowing 1 

Joy comes, grief goes, we know not how ; 
Everything is happy now, 

Every thmg is upwaixl striving ; 
'T is as easy now for the heart to be true 
As for ffrass to be green or skies to be 
blue, — 
T is the natural way of living : 
Who knows whither the clouds have 
fled? 
In the unscarred heaven they leave no 
wake ; 
And the eyes forget the tears they have 
sh(Kl, 
The heart foists its sorrow and ache ; 
The soul partakes the seiuson's youth. 
And the sulphurous rifu of passion 
and woe 
Lie deep 'neath a silence pure and 
smooth, 
Like burnt-out craters healed with 
snow. 
What wonder if Sir Launfal now 
Remembered the keeping of his vow ? 



PART FIRST. 

I. 

" My golden spurs now bring to me, 

And bring to me my richest mail. 

For to-morrow I go over land and sea 



In search of the Holy Grail ; 

Shall never a bed for me be spread, 

Nor shall a pillow be under my head. 

Till I begin my vow to keep ; 

Here on the rushes will 1 sleep, 

And perchance there may come a vision 
true 

Ere day create the world anew.*' 
Slowly Sir Launfal's eye& grew dim, 
Slumber fell like a cloud on him, 

And into his soul the vision flew. 

II. 

The crows flapped over by twos and 

threes, 
In the pool drowsed the cattle up to 
their knees, 
The little birds sang as if it were 
The one day of summer in all the year, 
And the very leaves seemed to sing on 

the trees : 
The castle alone in the landscape lay 
Like an outpost of winter, aull and 

gray: 
Twas the proudest hall in the North 

Countree, 
And never its gates might o{>ened be, 
Save to lord or lady of nigh degree ; 
Summer besie^d it on every side, 
But the churlish stone her assaults de- 
fied; 
She could not scale the chilly wall, 
Though around it for leagues her pa- 
vilions tall 
Stretched left and right. 
Over the hills and out of sight ; 
Green and broad was eveiy tent, 
And out of each a murmur went 
Till the bi-eeze fell off at night 

III. 

The drawbridge dropped with a surly 

clang. 
And through the dark arch a charg<^ 

sprang. 
Bearing Sir Launfal, the maiden knight, 
In his gilded mail, that flamed so bright 
It seemed the dark castle had gathered 

all 
Those shafts the fierce sun had shot over 

its wall 
In his siege of three hundred summers 

long, 
And, binding them all in one blazing 

sheaf. 
Had cast them forth : so, young and 

strong. 



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TH7 YISIOM 69 «R LACSFAL. 



109 



And lightsome as a locust-leaf, 

> Sir Launfal flashed forth in his onscarred 
I mail, 

f To seek in all climes for the Holy GraiL 

It was morning on hill and stream and 
tree, 
And morning in the young knight's 
heart; 
I Only the castle moodily 

Bebuifed the gifts of the sunshine free, 

And gloomed by itself apart ; 
The season brimmed all otner things up 
Full as the rain hlb the pitcher-plant s 
cup. 

V. 

As Sir Launfal made mom throogh the 
darksome gate, 
He was 'ware of a leper, crouched by 
the same. 
Who begged with his hand and moaned 
as he sate ; 
And a loathing over Sir Launfal came ; 
• The sunshine went out of his soul with 
, > a thrill, 

I The liesh 'neath his armor 'gan shrink 

I and crawl. 

And midway its leap his heart stood still 

Like a frozen waterfall ; 

For this man, so foul aud bent of stature, 

liasTied harshlv against his dainty nature, 

I Ana seemed tne one blot on the summer 

1 morn, — 

I So he tossed him a piece of gold in scorn. 

VI. 

. The leper raised not the gold from the 
dust: 

'* Better to me the poor man's crust, 
! Better the bli>ssing of the poor, 
' Though 1 turn me empty irom his door ; 
! That is no true alms which the hand 
I can hold ; 

He gives nothing but worthless gold 
Who gives from a sense of duty ; 
. But he who gives but a slender mite, 

> And gives to that which is out of sight, 
That thread of the all-sustaining 

Bcaauty 
Which runs through all and doth all 

unite, — 
The hand cannot clasp the whole of his 

alms. 
The heart outstretches its eager palms, 



For a god goes with it and makes it 
store 

To the soul that was starving in dark- 
ness before." 



PRELUDE TO PART SECOND. 

Down swept the chill wind from the 
mountain peak, 
From the snow five thousand summers 
old; 

On open wold and hill-top bleak 
It had gathered all the cold. 

And whined it like sleet on the wan- 
derer's cheek ; 

It carried a shiver everywhere 

From the unleafed boughs and pastures 
bare; 

The little brook heard it and built a roof 

'Neath which he could house him, win- 
ter-proof; 

All night by the white stars' frosty 
eleams 

He gromed his arches and matched his 
beams; 

Slender and clear were his crystal spars 

As the lashes of light that trim the 
stars : 

He sculptured every summer delight 

In his halls and chambers out of sight ; 

Sometimes his tinkling waters sllpt 

Down through a frost-leaved forest- 
crypt. 

Long, sparkling aisles of steel-stemmed 
trees 

Bending to counterfeit a breeze ; 

Sometimes the roof no fretwork knew 

But silvery mosses that downward grew ; 

Sometimes it was carved in sharp relief 

With quaint arabesques of ice-fern leaf; 

Sometimes it was simply smooth and 
clear 

For the gladness of heaven to shine 
through, and here 

He had caught the nodding bulrush-tops 

And hung them thickly with diamond 
drops, 

That crystalled the beams of moon and 
sun, 

And made a star of every one : 

No mortal builder's most rare device 

Could match this winter-palace of ice ; 

'T was as if every image that mirrored 
lay 

In his depths serene through the sum- 
mer day, 



I 



110 



THE VISIOK OF SIB LAUNFAL. 



1 



Each fleeting slmdow of earth and tiky. 
Lest the happy model should be lost, 

Had been miiuiclced in fairy masonry 
By the eltiu bulldera oi' the frost. 

Within the hall are song and laughter, 

The cheeks of Christnuis glow red and 

jolly. 

And sprouting is erery corbel and rafter 

With lightsome green of ivy and holly ; 

Through the deep gulf of the chimney 

wide 
Wallows the Yule-Iog^s loaring tide ; 
The broad ilame-pennons droop and flap 
And bellv and tug an a flag in the 
wind ; 
Like a locust shrills the imprisoned sap, 
Hunted to death in its galleries blind ; 
And swift little tix>op8 of silent siuirks, 
Now pausing, now scattering away as 
in fear, 
Go threading the 80ot>fore8t*s tangled 
darks 
Like herds of startled deer. 

But the wind without was eager and 

sharp. 
Of Sir Laimfars gray hair it makes a harj), 
And rattles and wrings 
The icy strings, 
Singing, in dreary monotone^ 
A Cnristmas carol of its own. 
Whose bunlen still, as he might guess, 
Was— "Shelterless, shelterless, shel- 
terless ! " 
The voice of the seneschal, flared like a 

torch 
As he shouted the wanderer away from 

the porch, 
And he sat in the gateway and saw all 
night 
The great hall-fire, so cheery and bold. 
Through the window-slits Sf the caa- 
tie old, 
Build out its piers of ruddv light 
Against the drifl; of the cold* 



FART 8BC0ND. 

I. 

There was never a leaf on buah or tree. 
The Imre boughs rattled shudderingly; 
Tlie river was dumb and could not siieak, 
For the weaver Winter its shroua had 
spun; 



A single crow on the tree-top bleak 
From his shining feathers shed off the 
cold sun ; 
Again it waa morning, but shrank and 

cold. 
As if her veins were sapless and old. 
And she rose up decrepitly 
For a last dim took at earth and sea. 

II. 
Sir Launfal turned from his own haid 

For another heir in his earldom sate : 
An old, bent man, worn out and frail. 
He came back from seeking the Holv 

Orail ; 
Little he recked of his earldom's loss. 
No more on his suixxMit was blazoned the 

cross. 
But deep in his soul the sign he wore. 
The badge of the suffering and the |ioor. 

III. 

Sir Launfal*s raiment thin and spme 
Was idle mail 'gainst the barbed air. 
For it was just at the Christuias time ; 
So he mused, as he sat, of a sunnier 

clime. 
And sought for a shelter from c(^ aud 

snow 
In the light and warmth of long-ago ; 
He sees Uie snake-like caravan crawl 
O'er the edge of the desert, black and 

small. 
Then nearer and nearer, till, one by one. 
He can count the camels in the sun. 
As over the red-hot sands they pass 
To where, in its slender necklace of grassi« 
The little spring laughed and leapt in 

the shade. 
And with its own self like an infant 

played, 
And waved its signal of palms. 



IV. 



it 



For Christ's sweet sake, I beg im 

alms" ; — 

The happy camels may reach the spring. 
But Sir Launfal sees only the grewsome 

thing. 
The leper, lank as the rain-blancbed 

bone. 
That cowers beside him, a thing as lone 
And white as the ice-isles of Northern 

seas 
In the desolate horror of his disease. 



J 



1 



110 



. . .1 V 

• • • _ 



t • » U ' •' I • 



' 1 






• 1 • : 



^; --'^ • /* t. 



I « 






' ♦he camcio 



Bt , 



r 



TH2 VISION OF SIB LAUNFAL. 



Ill 



I 



I 



V. 

And Sir Launfal nid, — '<I behold in 

thee 
An image of Him who died on the tree ; 
Thoa also hast had thy crown of thoma, — 
Thoa also hast had the world*a boffets and 

seoms, — 
And to thy life were not denied 
The wounds in the hands and feet and 

side: 
Mild MaTy*8 Son, acknowledge me ; 
Behold, through him, 1 give to thee !** 

VI. 

Then the soul of the leper stood up in his 

eyes 
And looked at Sir Launfal, and 

straightway he 
Remembered in what a haughtier guise 

He had flung an alms to Teprosie, 
VThen he girt his young life up in gilded 

mail 
And set forth in search of the Holy Grail. 
The heart within him was ashes and dust ; 
He part«d in twain his single cnist, 
He broke the ice on the streamlet's 

brink, 
And gave the leper to eat and drink, 
T was a mouldy crust of coarse brown 

bread, 
*T was water out of a wooden bowl, — 
Yet with fine wheaten bread was the leper 

fed. 
And 't was red wine he drank with his 

thirsty soul. 

VII. 

As Sir Launfal mused with a downcast 

face, 
A light shone round about the place ; 
The leper no longer crouched at his side, 
But stood before him glorified. 
Shining and tall and mir and straight 
As the pillar that stood by the Beautiful 

Gate,— 
Himself the Gate whereby men can 
fiuter the temple of God in Man. 

VIII. 

His words were shed softer than leaves 

from the pine, 
And they fell on Sir Launfal as snows on 

tne brine, 
That mingle their softness and quiet in 

one 



With the shaggy unrest they float down 

upon; 
And the voice that was calmer than 

silence said, 
" Lo it is I, be not afraid ! 
In many climes, without avail, 
Thoo mist spent thy life for the Holy 

Grail; 
Behold, it is here, — this cup which thou 
Didst fill at the streamlet for me but now ; 
This crust is my body broken for thee. 
This water His blood that died on the 

tree; 
The Holy Supper is kept, indeed, 
In whatso we share with another*s need ; 
Not what we ^ve, but what we share, — 
For the gift without the giver is bare ; 
Who gives himself with his alms feeds 

three, — 
Himself, his hungering neighbor, and 



me. 



iz. 



Sir Launfal awoke as from a swound : — 
** The Grail in my castle here is found ! 
Hang my idle armor up on the wall. 
Let It be the spider's banquet-hall ; 
He must be fenced with stronger mail 
Who would seek and find the Holy 
GraU." 



The castle gate stands open now. 
And the wanderer is welcome to the 

hall 
As the hangbird is to the elm-tree bough ; 

No longer scowl the turrets tall. 
The Summer's long siege at last is o'er ; 
When the first poor outcast went in at 

the door, 
She entered with him in disguise, 
And mastered the fortress by surprise ; 
There is no spot she loves so well on 

ground, 
She lingers and smiles there the whole 

year round ; 
The meanest serf on Sir Launfal's land 
Has hall and bower at his command ; 
And there 's no poor man in the North 

Countree 
But is lord of the earldom as much as he. 



NOTE.— According to the mythology of the 
Romancers, the San Oreal, or Holy Orail. was 
the cap out of which Jeaus partook of the last 
supper with his disciples, ft was brought into 
England by Joseph of Arimathea. and remained 
there, an ol^ect of pilgrimage and adoration. 



\ 



'»^ ^H _ 



1 



112 



THE VISION OF SIR LAUNFAL. 



for many yean in fhe keeping of hit lineal de- 
Bcenduita. It was incamoeut upon those who 
had chaise of It to be chaste in thought, word, 
and deed; but one of the keepers having 
brokaa this condition, the Holy Orail disap- 
peared. From that time It waa a favorite enter- 
prise of the luiighta of Artfim^t court to go in 
search of it 8tf Galahad was at Ikst anrress- 
fUl in finding It, as may be read iu the seven- 
taenth book of the Bomance of King Arthur. 



Tennyson has made Sir Oalahad the nt^td of 
one of the most exquisite of his poems. 

The plot (if 1 may give that name to anythiBg 
so slight) of the foregoing poem is my own, and, 
to sen-e ita purposes, I have enlaiged the circle 
of competitTon m search of the niiracuioos rap 
in auch a manner as to include, not only other 
persons than the heroes of the Bound Tsbie, 
iNit also a period of time aubeequent to Um 
date of Kin^ Arthur's reign 1 



1 



! h 



•I 



PUE JC LI Br 



.\KY 



Reader ! walk up at once {it will soon be too late) 
and buy at a perfectly ruinous rate 



FABLE FOR CRITICS; 

OR, BETTER, 

(/ likty as a thing' that the nader's first fiiney may strike , 

an old'fashioned title-page^ 
such as presents a tabular view of the volumes contents,) 

A GLANCE 

AT A FEW OF OUR LITERARY PROGENIES 

{Mrs. Malapropos word) 

* FROM 

THE TUB OF DIOGENES; 

A VOCAL AND MUSICAL MEDLEY, 

THAT IS, 

A SERIES OF JOKES 

Sfif % WBittxCntvtvX ^uih 

toko accompanies himself with a rub-^i^ub-dubyfull of spirit and grace, 

on the top of the tub. 



Set forth in October, the 31st day, 

In the year '48, G. P. Putnam, Broadway. 









I 



i TO 

I 

I CHARLES F. BRIGGS, 



THIS VOLUME IS AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED. 



A FABLE FOB CBITIGB. 



115 



! It beins the commonest mode of proced- 
ure, I premise a few candid remarics 

I To THE Reader : — 

I This trifle, begun to please only myself 
and my own private fancy, was laid on the 
shelf. But some friends, who had seen it. 
induced me, b^ dint of saying they liked 
it, to put it in print That is, havine 
conie to that very conclusion, I consulted 
them when it could make no confusion. 
For (though in the gentlest of ways) they 
had liinted it was ucarce worth the while, 
I should doubtless have printed it. 

I began it, intending a Fable, a frail, 
slender thing, rhyme-ywinsed, with a sting 
in its tail But, by addings and alter- 
ings not previously planned. — digressions 
cliaiice-hatched, like birds eggs in the 
sand, — and dawdlings to suit every whim- 
iiey's demand (always freeing the bird 
which I held in my hand, for the two 
perched, perhaps out of reach^ in the tree), 
— it grew by degrees to the sue which you 
see. I was like the old woman that car- 
ried the calf, and my neigh1x)rs, like hers, 
no doubt, wonder and laugh, and when, 
my strained arms with their grown bur- 
then full, I call it my Fable, they call it a 
hnlL 

Having scrawled at full gallop fas far as 
that goes) in a style that is neither good 
verse nor bad prose, and being a person 
whom nobody knows, some people will 
•ay I am rather more free with my readers 
than it is becoming to be, that I seem to 
expect them to wait on my leisure in fol- 
lowing wherever I wander at pleasure, 
that, In short, I take more than a young 
author's lawful ease, and laugh in a queer 
way so like Mephistopheles, that the pub- 
lic win donbt, as thev grope through my 
rhjthm, if in truth 1 am making fim at 
them or loUh them. 

So the excellent Public is hereby as- 
sured that the sale of my book is already 
secured. For there is not a poet through- 
out the whole land but will purchase a 
copy or two out of hand, in the fond ex- 
prctation of being amused in it, by seeing 
nlR betters cut up and abused in it Now, 
I find, by a pretty exact calculation, there 
are something like ten thousand bards in 



the nation, of that special variety whom 
the Review and Magazine critics obiII lofty 
and true, and about thirty thousand {thta 
tribe is increasing) of the kinds who are 
termed ftdl cf promise and pleasing. The 
Public will see by a glance at this sched- 
ule, that they cannot expect me to be over- 
sedulous about courting them, since it 
seems I have got enough fuel made sure of 
for boiling my pot 

As for such of our poets as find not 
their names mentioned once in my pages, 
with praises or blames, let them skmd in 
THEIR CARDS, without further delay, to 
my friend U. P. PirrNAM, Esquire, in 
Broadway, where a list will be kept with 
the strictest regard to the day and the 
hour of receiving the card. Then, taking 
them up as I chance to have time (that is, 
if their names can be twisted in rhyme), 
I will honestly give each his proper po- 
sition, at the rate of one author to each 
NEW edition. Thus a PREMIUM Is of- 
fered sufficiently high (as the magazines 
say when they tell their oest lie) to induce 
bards to club their resources and buy the 
balance of every edition, until they have 
all of them fairly been run through the 
mill. 

One word to such readers (judicious and 
wise) as read books with something behind 
the mere eyes, of whom in the country^ 
perhaps, there are two, including myself, 
gentle reader, and you. All the characters 
sketchetl in this slight y^M ttesprit, though, 
it may be, they seem, here and there, 
rather f^, and drawn fVom a Mephisto- 
phelian standpoint, are meant to be faith- 
ful, and that is the grand point, and none 
but an owl would feel sore at a rub fYom 
a jester who tells you, without any subter* 
fuge, tiiathe sits in Diogenes* tub. 



A PRELIMINARY NOTE TO THE 
SECOND EDITION, 

thouffh it well maybe reckoned, of all com- 
position, the species at once most delight- 
ml and healthy, is a thing which an au- 
thor, unless he be wealthy and willing to 



116 



A FABLE FOR CBITICS. 



pay for that kind of delight, ia i^ot, in all 
inBtanoes, called on to write. Though 
there are, it is said, who, their spirite to 
cheer, slip in a new title-pi^ three times 
a year, and in this way snuff up an Imagi- 
nary savor of that sweetest of dishes, tlie 
popular favor, — much as if a starved 
painter should fall to and treat the Ugo- 
lino inside to a picture of meat. 

You remember (if not, pray turn over 
and look) that, in writing the preface which 
ushered my Ixwk, I treated you, excel- 
lent Public, not merely with a cool disre- 
gard, but downright cavalierlv. Now I 
would not take back the least thing I then 
said, though I thereby could butter both 
sides of mv bread, for I never could see 
that an author owed aught to the people 
be solaced, diverted, or taught ; and, as 
for mere fame, I have long ago learned 
that Uie persons by whom it is finally 
earned are those with whom your verdict 
weighed not a pin, unsustained by the 
hislier court sitting within. 

But I wander from what I intended to 
say, — that you have^ namely, shown such 
a liberal way of thinking, and so much 
Rsthetic perception of anonymous worth 
in the handsome reception you gave to my 
book, spite of some private piques (having 
bouffht the first thousand m barely two 
weeks), that I think, past a doubt, if you 
measured the phiz of yours most devotedly, 
Wonderful Quiz, you would find that its 
vertical section was shorter, by an inch 
and two tenths, or *twizt that and a 
quarter. 

You have watched a child playinff — in 
those wondrous years when belief is not 
bound to the eyes and the ears, and the 
vision divine is so clear and unmarred, 
that each baker of pies in the dirt is a 
bard I Give a knife and a shingle, he fits 
out a fleet, and, on that little mud-puddle 
over the street, his invention, in purest 
good faith, will make sail round the globe 
with a puff of his breath for a gale, will 
visit in Karely ten minutes, all climes, and 
find Northwestern passages hundreds of 
times. Or, suppose the young Poet fresh 
storwl with delights from that Bible of 
childhood, the Arabian Nights, he will turn 
to a crony and cry, "Jack, let 's play that 
I am a Oenius ! " Jacky straightway makes 
Aladdin's lamp out of a stone, and, for 
hours, they enjov each his own supernat- 
ural powers. Tills is all very pretty and 
pleasant, but then suppose our two ur- 
chins have grown into men, and both have 
turned suthors, — one says to his brother, 
"Let's play we're the American some- 
things or other, — say Homer or Sopho- 
cles, Goethe or Scott (only let them be 



big enough, no matter what). Come, yon 
shall be Byron or Pope, which you choose : 
I *]l be Coleridge, and both shall write 
mutual reviews. So they both (as mere 
strangers) before many days send each 
other a cord of anonymous bays. Each, 
piling liis epithets, smiles in his sleeve 
to see w^hat nis friend can be made to be- 
lieve ; each, reading the other's unbiassed 
review, thinks — Here 's pretty high praise, 
but no more than is true. Vi^ell, we laugh 
at them both, and yet make no great fuss 
when the same farce is acted to benefit us. 
Even I, who, if asked, scarce a month 
since, what Fudge meant, should have an- 
swered, the dear Public's critical judg- 
ment, begin to think sharp-witted Horace 
spoke sooth when he said, that the Public 
sometimes hit the truth. 

In reading these lines, you perhaps have 
a vision of a person in pretty good health 
and condition, and yet, since I put forth 
my primary edition, I have been crushed, 
scorched, withered, used up and put down 
(by Smith with the cordial assistance of 
Brown), in all, if you put any faith in my 
rhymes, to the number of ninety -five sev- 
eral times, and, while I am writing,— I 
tremble to think of it, for I may at this 
moment be just on the brink of it, — Mo- 
lybdostom, angry at being omitted, hai 
begtm a critique, — am I not to be 
pitied?* 

Now I shall not crush them since, in- 
deed, for that matter, no pressure I know 
of could render them flatter ; nor wither, 
nor scorch them, — no action of fire could 
make either them or their articles drier ; 
nor waste time in putting them down — 
I am thinking not their own self -inflation 
will keep them from sinking : for there 's 
this contradiction about the whole bevy, — 
though without the least weight, thev are 
awfully heavy. No, my dear nonest oore, 
surdo jabulam narras, they are no more 
to me than a rat in the arras. I can walk 
with the Doctor, eet facts from the Don, 
or draw out the Lambish quintessence of 
John, and feel nothing mora than a half- 
comic sorrow, to think that they all will I 
be lying to-morrow tossed carelessly up on | 
the waste-paper shelves, and foi^otten by 
all but their half-dozen selves. Once snug 
in my attic, my fire in a roar, I leave the 
whole pack of them outsi«le the door. 
With Hakluvt or Purchas I wander away ' 
to the black northern seas or barbaric 
Cathay ; get foH with O'Shanter, and sob«r 
me then with that builder of brick -kiluish 

* The wise Scandinavians probably called 
their bards by the queer-looking title of Scald, 
in h delicste way, as it were, Just Ui hint to the 
world the hot water they always get into. 






A FABLE FOR CRITICS. 



117 



dnunas, rare Ben ; muff Herbert, as holy 
as a flower on a grave ; with Fletcher wax 
tender, o'er Chapman grow brave ; with 
Marlowe or Kyd take a tine poet-rave ; in 
Very, most Hebrew of Saxons, find peace ; 
with Lvcidas welter on vext Irish seas; 
with Webster grow wild, and climb earth- 
ward again, down by mystical Browne's 
Jacob's-ladder-like brain, tb that spiritual 
Pepys (Cotton's version) Montaigne ; find 
a new depth in Wordsworth, undreamed 
of before, — that divinely inspired, wise, 
deep, tender, grand — bore. Or. out of 
my study, the scholar thrown off. Nature 
holds up her shield 'gainst the sneer and 
the scon ; the landscape, forever consoling 
and kind, pours her wine and her oil on 
tlie smarts of the mind. The waterfall, 
scattering its vanishing; gems ; the tall 
grove of hemlocks, with moss on their 
stems, like plashes of sunlight ; the pond 
in the woods, where no foot but mine and 
the bittern's intrudes ; these are all my 
kind neighbors, and leave me no wish to 
say aught to you all, my poor critics, but 
—pish! I have buried the hatchet : I am 
twisting an allumette out of one of you 
now, and relighting my calumet. In your 

frivate capacities, come when you please, 
will give yoa my hand and a fresh pipe 
apiece. 

As I ran through the leaves of my poor 
little book, to take a fond author s first 
tremulous look, it was quite an excitement 
to hunt the errata, sprawled in as birds' 
tracks are in some kinds of strata (only 
these made things crookeder). Fancy an 
heir that a father had seen bom well-fea- 
tured and fair, turning suddenly wry-nosed, 
clnb-footed, squint-eyed, hair-lipped, wap- 
per-Jawed, carrot-haired, from a priae be- 
come an aversion, — my case was yet worse. 
A club-foot (by way of a change) lu a verse, 



I might have forgiven, an o's beine wry, 
a limp in an e, or a cuck in an t, — but to 
have the sweet babe of my brain served in 
pi/ I am not queasy-stomached, but such 
a Thyestean banquet as that was quite out 
of the question. 

In the edition now issued, no pains are 
neglected, and my verses, as orators say, 
stand corrected. Yet some blundera re- 
main of the public's own make, which I 
wish to correct for my personal sake. 
For instance, a character drawn in pure 
fun and condensing the traits of a dozen 
in one, has been, as I hear, by some per- 
sons applied to a good friend of mine, 
whom to stab in the side, as we walked 
along chatting and joking together, would 
not be my way. I can hartlly tell whether 
a question will ever arise in which he and 
I should by any strange fortune agree, 
but meanwhile my esteem for him grows 
as I know him, and, though not the best 
judge on earth of a poem, he knows wliat 
it is he is saying and why, and is honest 
and fearless, two good points which I 
have not found so rife I can easily smother 
my love for them, whether on my side or 
t'other. 

For my other anonymij you may be sure 
that I know what is meant by a carica- 
ture, and what by a portrait. There are 
those who think it is capital fun to 1)e 
spattering their ink on ^uiet, unquarrel- 
some folk, but tne minute the game 
changes siaes and the others Ixrgin it, they 
see something savage and horrible in it. 
As for me I respect neither women nor 
men for their gender, nor own any sex in 
a pen. I choose just to hint to some 
causeless unfriends that, as far as I know, 
there are always two ends (and one of 
them heaviest, too) to a staff, and two 
parties idso to evei^ good laugh. 



A FABLE FOR CRITICS. 



PH<XBxr8, sitting one day in a laorel* 

tree's shade. 
Was reminded of Daphne, of whom it 

was made. 
For the god being one day too wann in 

his wooing, 
She took to the tree to escape his pur- 
suing; 
Be the cause what it might, from his 

oflTers she shrunk, 
Andy Ginevra-like, shut herself up in 

a trunk; 
And, though 't was a step into which he 

had driven her, 
He somehow or other had never for- 
given her ; 
Her memory he nursed as a kind of 

a tonic, 
Something bitter to chew when he'd 

play the Byronic, 
And I can't count the obstinate nymphs 

that he brought over 
By a strange kind of smile he put on 

when he thouffht of her. 
** My case is like Dido's," he sometimes 

remarked; 
"When I last saw my love, she was 

fairW embarked 
In a laurel, as she thought — but (ah, 

how Fate mocks !) 
She has found it by this time a very 

bad box ; 
Let hunters from me take this saw when 

they need it, — 
You're not always sure of your game 

when you ve treed it 
Just conceive such a change taking place 

in one's mistress ! 
What romance would be left? — who 

can flatter or kiss trees? 
And, for mercy's sake, how could one 

keep up a dialo^e 
With a dull wooden thing that will live 

and wiU die a lo^ — 



Not to say that the thought would for- 
ever intrude 

That you 've less chance to win her the 
more she is wood I 

Ah ! it went to my heart, and the mem- 
orv stUl grieves. 

To see those loved graces all taking 
their leaves ; 

Those charms beyond speech, so en- 
chanting but now. 

As they left me forever, each making 
its bought 

If her tongue had a tang sometimes 
more than was right, 

Her new bark is worse uian ten times 
her old bite." 

Now, Daphne— before she was hap- 
pily treeified — 

Over all other blossoms the lily had 
deified. 

And when she expected the god on a 
visit 

CT was before he had made his inten<< 
tions explicit). 

Some buds she arranged with a vast 
deal of care, 

To look as if artlessly twined in her hair. 

Where they seemed, as he said, when 
he paid his addresses. 

Like the day breaking through the long 
night of her tresses ; 

So whenever he wished to be quite irre- 
sistible. 

Like a man with eight trumps in his 
hand at a whist-table 

(I feared me at first that the rhyme was 
untwistable. 

Though I might have lugged in an allu- 
sion to Cristabel), — 

He would take up a lily, and gloomily 
look in it, 

As I shall at the , when they cut 

up my book in it 



120 



A FABLE FOB CRITICS. 



Well, here, after all the bad rhyme 
I 've been spinning, 

I Ve got back at laat to wy story's begin- 
ning: 

Sitting there, as I say, in the shade of 
his mistress, 

As dull as a volume of old Chester mys- 
teries. 

Or as those puzzling specimens which, 
in old histones. 

We read of his verses — the Oracles, 
namely, — 

(I wonder the Greeks should have swal- 
lowed them tamely, 

For one might bet safely whatever he 
has to risk, 

They were laid at his door by some 
ancient Miss Asterisk, 

And so dull that the men who retailed 
them out-doors 

Got the ill name of augurs, because 
they were bores, — ) 

First, he mused what the animal sub- 
stance or herb is 

Would induce a mustache, for you 
know he 's imberbis ; 

Then he shuddered to think how his 
youthful position 

Was assailed by the age of his son the 
physician ; 

At some poems he glanced, had been 
sent to him lately, 

And the metre and sentiment puzzled 
him greatlv ; 

"Mehercle! I *d make such proceed- 
ing felonious, — 

Have they all of them slept in the cave 
of Trophonius ? 

Look well to your seat, 't is like taking 
an airing 

On a corduroy road, and that out of re- 
pairing ; 

It leads one, 'tis true, through the 
primitive forest, 

Grand natural features, but then one 
has no rest ; 

You just catch a glimpse of some rav- 
ishing distance, 

When a jolt puts the whole of it out of 
existence, — 

Why not use their ears, if they happen 
to have any ? " 

— Here the laurel-leaves murmured the 
name of poor Daphne. 

"0, weep with me, Daphne," he 
sighed, "for you know it's 



A terrible thing to be pestered with 

poets ! 
But, alas, she is dumb, and the proverb 

holds ffood. 
She never will cry till she 's out of the 

wood ! 
¥rhat would n't I give if I never had 

known of her f 
'T were a kind of relief had I aomething 

to groan over : 
If I had but some letters of hers, now, 

to toss over, 
I might turn for the nonce a Byronic 

philosopher, 
And bewitch all the flats by bemoaning 

the loss of her. 
One needs something tangible, though, 

to begin on, — 
A loom, as it were, for the fancy to 

spin on ; 
What boots all your grist f it can never 

begrouna 
Till a breeze makes the arms of the 

windmill go round, 
(Or, if 't is a water-mill, alter the meta- 
phor. 
And say it won't stir, save the wheel be 

well wet afore. 
Or lug in some stuff about water "so 

dreamily," — 
It is not a metaphor, though, 'tis a 

simile) ; 
A lily, perhaps, would set my mill 

a-goinff. 
For just at this season, I think, they 

are blowing. 
Here, somebody, fetch one; not very 

far hence 
They're in bloom by the score, 'tis but 

climbing a fence ; 
There 's a poet nard by, who does noth- 
ing but fill his 
Whole garden, from one end to t' other, 

with lilies ; 
A very good plan, were it not for sati- 
ety, 
One longs for a weed here and tliere, 

for variety ; 
Though a weed is no more than a flower 

in disguise. 
Which is seen through at once, if love 

give a man eyes." 



t» 



Now there happened to be among 
Phcebus's tbilowers, 
A gentleman, one of the omnivorous 
swallowers, 



._J 



A FABLE FOB GBITICS. 



121 



Who bolt every book that conies out of 

the press. 
Without the least question of larger or 



Whose stomachs are strong at the ex- 
pense of their head, — 

For reading new books is like eating 
new oread. 

One can bear it at first, bat by gradual 
steps he 

Is brought to death's door of a mental 



>ug 



yspepsy. 

On a previous stage of existence, our 
Hero 

Had ridden outside, with the glass be- 
low zero ; 

He had been, 't is a fact you may safely 
rely on. 

Of a very old stock a most eminent 
scion, — 

A stock all fresh quacks their fierce 
boluses ply on. 

Who stretch the new boots Earth 's un- 
willing to try on. 

Whom humbugs of all shapes and sorts 
keep their eye on 

Whose hair *s in the mortar of every 
new Zion, 

Who, when whistles are dear, go directly 
and buy one. 

Who think slavery a crime that we 
must not say fie on. 

Who hunt, if they e'er hunt at all, with 
the lion 

(Though they hunt lions also, whenever 
they spy one), 

Who contrive to make every good for- 
tune a wry one. 

And at last choose the hard bed of honor 
to die on, 

Whose pedigree, traced to earth's earli- 
est years. 

Is longer than anything else but their 
ears; — 

In short, he was sent into life with the 
wrong key, 

He unlocked the door, and stept forth 
a poor donkev. 

Though kicked ana abused by his bi- 
pedal betters 

Tet he filled no mean place in the king- 
dom of letters ; 

Far happier than many a literary hack. 

He bore only paper-mill rags on his 
beck 

(For it makes a vast difference which 
side the mill 



One expends on the paper his labor and 

skill) ; 
So, when his soul waited a new traus- 

miction. 
And Destiny balanced 'twixt this and 

that station. 
Not having much time to expend upon 

bothers. 
Remembering he 'd had some connec- 
tion with authors. 
And considering his four legs had grown 

paralytic, — 
She set him on two, and he came forth 

a critic 

Through his babyhood no kind of 
pleasure he took 

In any amusement but tearing a book ; 

For him there was no intermediate stage 

From babyhood up to straight-laced 
middle age ; 

There were years when he did n't wear 
coat-tails behind. 

But a boy he could never be rightly de- 
fined; 

Like the Irish Good Folk, though in 
length scarce a span, 

From the womb he came gravely, tt lit- 
tle old man ; 

While other boys' trousers demamled 
the toil 

Of the motherly fingers on all kinds of 
soil, 

Red, yellow, brown, black, clayey, 
gravelly, loamy, 

He sat in the comer and read Viri 
Roms. 

He never was known to unbend or to 
revel onc« 

In base, marbles, hockey, or kick up 
the devil once ; 

He was just one of those who excite the 
benevolence 

Of your old pri^ who sound the soul's 
depths with a ledger, 

And are on the lookout lor some young 
men to "edger- 

cate," as they call it, who won't be too 
costly, 

And, who '11 afterward take to the min- 
istry mostly ; 

Who always wear spectacles, always 
look bilious, 

Always .keep on good terms with each 
tnater'/amilia$ 

Throughout the whole parish, and man- 
age to rear 



! 



122 



▲ FAfiLE FOR CRITICS. 



Ten boys like themaeWes, on four hun- 
dred a year : 

Who, fulfilling in turn the same fearful 
conditions, 

Either preach through their noses, or go 
upon missions. 

In this way our hero got safely to col- 
lege, 

Where he bolted alike both his com- 
mons and knowledge ; 

A reading-machine, always wound up 
and goinff, 

He mastered whatever was not worth 
the knowing, 

Appeared in a gown, and a Test of black 
satin, 

To spout such a Gothic oration in Latin 

That Tully could never have made out a 
word in it 

(Though himself was the model the au- 
thor preferred in it), 

And grasping the parchment which gave 
him in fee 

All the mystic and-so-forths contained 
in A. B., 

He was launched (life is ilways com- 
, pared to a sea). 

With just enough learning, and skill 
for the using it, 

To prove he *d a brain, by forever con- 
fusing it 

So worthy St Benedict, piously burn- 
ing 

With the holiest zeal against secular 
learning, 

Nesciensque aderUer, as writers express 

it, 
Indodusque aapienter a Jioma recesait, 

T would be endless to tell you the 
things that he knew, 

All separate facts, undeniably true, 

But with him or each other they *d 
nothing to do ; 

No power of combining, arranging, dis- 
cerning. 

Digested the masses he learned into 
learning ; 

There was one thinf in life he had prac- 
tical knowledge for 

(And this, you will think, he need scarce 
go to college for), — 

Not a deed would he do, nor a word 
would he utter, 

Till he 'd weighed its relations to plain 
bread and butter. 



When he left Alma Mater, he practiaed 

his wits 
In compiling the journals* historical 

bits, — 
Of shops broken open, men falling in 

Great fortunes in England bequeathed 

to poor printers, 
And cold spells, the coldest for many 

past winters, — 
Then, rising by industry, knack, and 

address, 
Got notices up for an unbiassed press. 
With a mind so well i)oised, it seemed 

equally made for 
Applause or abuse, just which chanced 

to be iwtid for : 
From this point his progress was rapid 

and sure. 
To the post of a regular heavy reviewer. 

And here I must say he wrote excel- 
lent articles 

On the Hebraic ^ints, or the force of 
Greek particles. 

They filled up the space nothing else 
was prepared for; 

And nobody read that which nobody 
cared for; 

If any old book reached a fiftieth edi- 
tion, 

He could fill forty pages with safe em- 
dition : 

He could gauge the old books by the old 
set of rules. 

And his very old nothings pleased very 
old fools ; 

But give him a new book, fresh out of 
the heait. 

And you put him at sea without com- 
pass or chart, — 

His blunders aspired to the rank of an 
art; 

For his lore was engraft, something for- 
eign that grew in him, 

Exhausting the sap of the native and 
true in him, 

So that when a man came with a soul 
that was new in him, 

Carving new forms of truth out of Na- 
ture's old granite. 

New and old at their birth, like Le 
Verrier's planet. 

Which, to get a true judgment, them- 
selves must create 

In the soul of their critic the measure 
and weight, 



A FABLE FOR CRITICS. 



123 



I 



Being rather themselves a fieah stand- 
ard of grace, 
To oompnte their own judge, and assign 

him his place. 
Our reviewer would crawl all about it 

and round it, 
And, reporting each circumstance just 

as he found it. 
Without the least malice, —his record 

would be 
Profoundly aesthetic as that of a flea, 
Which, supping on Wordsworth, should 

print, for our sakes, 
Recollections of pights witii the Bard of 

the Lakes, 
Or, lodged by an Arab guide, ventured 

to render a 
General view of the ruins at Denderah. 

As I said, he was never precisely un- 
kind. 

The defect in his brain was just absence 
of mind ; 

If he boasted, *t was simply that he was 
self-made, 

A position which I, for one, never gain- 
said. 

My respect for my Maker supposing a 
skUl 

In his works which our Hero would an- 
swer but ill ; 

And I trust that the mould which he 
used may be cracked, or he, 

Made bold by success, may enlarge his 
phylacteij, 

And set up a kind of a man-manufae- 
tory, — 

An event which I shudder to think 
about, seeing 

That Man is a moral, accountable being. 

He meant well enough, but was still 
in the way. 

As a dunce always is, let him be where 
he may ; 

Indeed, they appear to come into exist- 
ence 

To impede other folks with their awk- 
ward assistance ; 

If you set up a dunce on the very North 
pole 

All alone with himself, I believe, on my 
soul, 

He 'd manage to get betwixt somebody's 
shins. 

And pitch him down bodily, all in his 
sins, 



To the grave polar bears sitting round 
on the ice. 

All shortening their grace^ to be in for 
a slice ; 

Or, if he found nobody else there to 
pother. 

Why, one of his legs would just trip up 
the other, 

For there 's nothing we read of in tor- 
ture's inventions. 

Like a well-meaning dunce, with the 
best of intentions. 

A terrible fellow to meet in soci- 
ety, 

Not the toast that he buttered was ever 
so dry at tea ; 

There he 'd sit at the table and stir in 
his sugar, 

Crouching close for a spring, all the 
while, like a cougar ; 

Be sure of your facts, of your measures 
and weights. 

Of your time, — he *s as fond as an Arab 
of dates ; — 

Yon 'U be telling, perhaps, in your com- 
ical way, 

Of something you 've seen in the course 
of the day ; 

And, just as you're topering out the 
conclusion. 

You venture an ill-fated classic allu- 
sion, — 

The girls have all got their laughs ready, 
when, whack 1 

The cougar comes down on your thun- 
derstruck back ! 

Yott had left out a comma, — your 
Greek 's put in joint. 

And pointed at cost of your story's 
whole point. 

In the course of the evening, you ven- 
ture on certain 

Soft speeches to Anne, in the shade of 
the curtain : 

Yon tell her your heart can be likened 
to (me flower, 

"And that, most charming of wo- 
men 's the sunflower, 

Which turns " — here a clear nasal voice, 
to your terror, 

From outside the curtain, says, ** That 's 
all an error." 

As for him, he 's — no matter, he never 
grew tender. 

Sitting after a ball, with his feet on the 
fender, 



-J 



124 



A FABLE FOB CBITICa 



Shaping somebody's tweet features out 

of citfar smoke 
(Though he d willingly grant you that 

such doings are smoke) ; 
All women he damns with mtUabile 

aenxper. 
And if ever he felt something like love's 

distemper, 
T was towaros a young lady who spoke 

ancient Mexican, 
And assisted her father in making a lex- 
icon ; 
Though 1 recollect hearing him get 

auite ferocious 
About Mar^ Clausum, the mistress of 

Grotins, 
Or something of that sort, — but, no 

more to bore ye 
With character-painting, 1 '11 turn to 

my story. 

Now, Apollo, who finds it conven- 
ient sometimes 

To get his court clear of the makers of 
rhymes, 

The genuSf I think it is called, irritabile. 

Every one of whom thinks himself 
treated most shabbily, 

And nurses a — what is it ? — immedi- 
cabile. 

Which keeps him at boiling-point, hot 
for a quarrel, 

As bitter as wormwood, and sourer than 
sorrel. 

If any poor devil but look at a laurel ; — 

Apollo, 1 say, being sick of their riot- 
ing 

(Though he sometimes acknowledged 
their verse had a quieting 

Effect after dinner, and seemed to sug- 
gest a 

Retreat to the shrine of a tranquil 
siesta), 

Kept our Hero at hand, who, by means 
of a bray. 

Which he gave to the life, drove the 
rabble away ; 

And if that would n't do, he was sure 
to succeed, 

If he took his i-eview out and offered to 
read ; 

Or, failing in plans of this milder de- 
scription, 

He would fuk for their aid to get up a 
subscription, 

ConsideriTig tnat authorship wasn't a 
rich craft, 



To print the "American drama of 
Witchcraft." 

" Stay, I '11 read you a scene,** — but he 
hardly began. 

Ere Apollo shrieked ** Help ! " and the 
authors all ran : 

And once, when these purgatives acted 
with less spirit. 

And the desperate case asked a remedy 
desperate, 

He drew from his pocket a foolscap 
epistle 

As calmly as if *t were a nine-barrelled 
pistol, # 

And threatened them all with the judg- 
ment to come. 

Of " A wandering Star's firet impressions 
of Rome.'*^ 

" Stop ! stop ! " with their hands o*er 
their ears, screamed the Mu&es, 

'* He may go off and murder himself, if 
he chooses, 

'Twas a means self-defence only sanc- 
tioned his trying, 

'Tis mere massacre now that the ene- 
my's flying; 

If he 's forced to t again, and we hap- 
pen to be there. 

Give us each a large handkerchief soaked 
in strong ether." 

I called this a «• Fable for Critics " ; 

you think it 's 
More like a display of my rhythmical 

trinkets ; 
My plot, like an icicle, 's slender and j 

slippery. 
Every moment more slender, and likely 

to slip awry. 
And the reader unwilling in loco dcsi- 

pere. 
Is free to jump over as much of my 

frippery 
As he fancies, and, if he 's a provident 

skipper, he 
May have an Cklyssean sway of the gales. 
And get safe to port, ere his patience 

quite fails ; 
Moreover, although *t is a slender Qftum 
For your toil and expense, yet my paper 

will bum. 
And, if you have manfully struggled 

thus far with me, 
You may e'en twist me up, and just 

light your cigar with me: 
If too angry for that, you can tear me in 

pieces, 



I 



▲ FABLE FOR CBTUCS. 



125 



And in Y membra di^eda consign to the 

breezes, 
A fate like great Ratzau's, whom one of 

those bores, 
Who beflead with bad verses poor Lonis 

Quatorze, 
Describes (the first verse somehow ends 

with vidoire). 
As dupertnrU partout ei tea membree el 

$a gloire ; 
Or, if I were over-desirons of earning 
A repute among noodles for chissical 

learning, 
I conld pick yoa a score of allusions, I 

wis, 
As new as the jests of Didcukaloa tie ; 
Better still, 1 could make out a good 

solid list 
From recondite authors who do not ex- 
ist, — 
But that would be naughty : at least, I 

could twist 
Something out of Absyrtus, or turn 

vour inquiries 
After Milton's ^rose metaphor, drawn 

from Osins ; — 
Bat, as Cicero says he won't say this or 

that 
(A fetch, I mast say, most transparent 

and flat). 
After saving whate'er he could possibly 

think of, — 
I simply wiU state that I pause on the 

brink of 
A mire, ankle-deep, of deliberate con- 
fusion, 
Hade up of old jumbles of classic allu- 
sion. 
So, when you were thinking yourselves 

to Se pitied, 
Jnst conceive how much harder your 

teeth you'd have gritted, 
An 'twere not for the dulness I've 

kindly omitted. 

I'd apologize here for my many di- 
gressions, 

Were it not that I 'm certain to trip into 
fresh ones 

CT is so hard to escape if you get in 
their mesh once) ; 

Just reflect, if you please, how 't is said 
by Horatius, 

That Kaeonides nods now and then, and, 
my gracious ! 

It certainly does look a little bit omi- 
nous 



When he gets under way with Urn 

d apaituU>omenoa, 
(Here a something occurs which 1 'U just 

cla|) a rhyme to, 
And say it myself, ere a Zoilus have 

time to, — 
Any author a nap like Van Winkle's 

mav take, 
If he onlv contrive to keep readera 

awake, 
But he 'U very soon find himself laid on 

the shelf. 
If they fall a-nodding when he no.ls 

himself.) 

Once for all, to return, and to stay, 

wiUI, nilll — 
When Phoebus expressed his desire for 

a lily. 
Our hero, whose homoeopathic sagacity 
With an ocean of zeal mixed his drop 

of capacity. 
Set off for the garden as fast as the 

wind 
(Or, to take a comparison more to my 

mind. 
As a sound politician leaves conscience 

behind). 
And leaped the low fence, as a party 

hack jumps 
O'er his principles, when something else 

turns up trumps. 

He was gone a long time, and Apollo, 

meanwhile. 
Went over some sonnets of his with a 

file. 
For, of all compositions, he thought 

that the sonnet 
Best repaid all the toil you expended 

upon it ; 
It should reach with one impulse the 

end of its course. 
And for one final blow collect all of its 

force ; 
Not a verse should be salient, but each 

one should tend 
With a wave-like up-gathering to break 

at the end ; 
So, condensing the strength here, there 

smoothmg a wry kink, 
He was killing the time, when up walked 

Mr. D ; 

At a few steps behind him, a small man 

in glasses 
Went dodging about, muttering, " Mur- 
derers I asses ! " 



126 



A FABLE FOR CRITICS. 



I 



From oat of his pocket a paper he *d take, 

With a proud look of martyrdom tied to 
ita stake, 

And, reading a squib at himself, he'd 
say, '* Here 1 see 

'Gainst American letters a bloody con- 
spiracy. 

They are all by my personal enemies 
written ; 

I must ]K)st an anonymous letter to 
Britain, 

And show that this gall is the merest 
suggestion 

Of spite at my zeal on the Copyright 
question. 

For, on this side the water, 't is prudent 
to pull 

O'er the eyes of the public their national 
wool, 

By accusing of slarish respect to John 
Bull 

All American authors who have more or 
less 

Of that anti- American humbug — suc- 
cess, 

While in priyate we're always em- 
bracing the knees 

Of some twopenny editor over the seas, 

And licking his critical shoes, for you 
know 't is 

The whole aim of our lives to get one 
English notice ; 

My American puffs I would willingly 
bum all 

(They 're all from one source, monthly, 
weekly, diurnal) 

To get but a kick from a transmarine 
journal I " 

So, culling the gibes of each critical 
scomer 

As if they were plums, and himself were 
Jack Homer, 

He came cautiously on, peeping round 
every comer, 

And into each hole where a weasel might 
pass in, 

Expecting the knife of some critic as- 
sassin. 

Who stabs to the heart with a carica- 
ture, 

Kot so bad as those daubs of the Sun, 
to be sure. 

Vet done with a dagger-o'-type, whose 
vile portraits 

Disperse all one'n good and condense all 
one's iK>oT U^its. 



Apollo looked up, hearing footsteps 

approaching^ 
And slipped out ofsight the new rhymes 

he was broaching, — 
*• Good day, Mr. D , I *m hapjiy to 

meet. 
With a scholar so ripe, and a critic so 

neat. 
Who through Grub Street the soul of a 

gentleman carries ; 
What news from that suburb of London 

and Paris 
Which latterly makes such shrill claims 

to monopolize 
The credit of oeing the New "World's 
' metropolis ? * 



M 



Why, nothing of consequence, save 

this attack 
On my friend there, behind, by some 

pitiful hack, 
Who thinks every national author a poof 

one. 
That is n't a copy of something that 's 

foreign, 
And assaults the American Dick—" 

"Nay, 'tis dear 
That your Damon there 's fond of a flta 

in his ear. 
And, if no one else furnished them gra- 
tis, on tick 
He would buy some himself, just to hear 

the old click ; 
Why, I honestly think, if some fool in 

Japan 
Should tum up his nose at the ' Poems 

on Man,' 
Your friend there by some inward in- 
stinct would know it. 
Would get it translated, reprinted, and 

show it ; 
As a man might take off a high stock to 

exhibit 
The autograph round his own neck of 

the gibbet ; 
Nor would let it I'est so, but fire column 

after column, 
Signed Cato, or Bmtus, or something as 

solemn. 
By way of displaying his critical crosses, 
And tweaking that poor transatlantic 

proboscis, 
His broadsides resulting (this last there 's 

no doubt oO 
In successively sinking the craft they 'rs 

fired out ofl 



A FABLE FOR CRITICS. 



127 



Now nobody knows when an author is 

hit, 
If he don't hare a public hysterical fit ; 
Let him only keep close in his snug 

ffarret's dim ether, 
And nobody 'd think of his critics — or 

him either; 
If an author have any least fibre of 

worth in him, 
Abuse would but tickle the organ of 

mirth in him; 
All the critics on earth cannot crush 

with their ban 
One word that 's iu tune with the nature 

of man." 

" Well, perhaps so ; meanwhile I hare 
brought you a book. 

Into which if you '11 just have the good- 
ness to look. 

You may feel so delighted (when once 
vou are through it) 

Ab to deem it not unworth your while 
to review it, 

And I Uiiuk [ can promise your thoughtf^ 
if you do, 

A place in the next Democratic Review." 

" The most thankless of gods you must 

surely have thought me, 
For this is the forty-fourth copy you 've 

brought me, 
I have given them away, or at least I 

luive tried. 
But I 've forty-two left, standing all side 

by side 
(The man who accepted that one copy 

died), — 
From one end of a shelf to the other 

they reach, 
'With the author's respects' neatly 

written in each. 
The publisher, sure, will proclaim a Te 

Deum, 
VThen he hears of that order the British 

Museum 
Has sent for one set of what books were 

first printed 
In Anierica, little or big, — for 't is 

hinted 
That this is the first truly tangible hope 

he 
Has ever had raiseil for the sale of a copy. 
I've thought very often 't would be a 

good thing 
i& ill public cofiections of books, if a 

wing 



Were set off by itself, like the seas from 

the dry lands, 
Marked Literature suited to desolate 

islandst 
And filled with such books as could 

never be read 
Save by readers of proofs, forced to do it 

for bread, — 
Such books as one 's wrecked on in small 

country -tevems, 
Such as hermite might mortify over in 

caverns, 
Such as Satan, if printing had then been 

invented, 
As the climax of woe, would to Job have 

presented, 
Such as Crusoe might dip in, althougli 

there are few so 
Outrageously cornered by fate as poor 

Crusoe; 
And since the philanthropiste just now 

are banging 
And gibbeting all who 're in favor of 

hanging 
(Though Cheever has proved that the 

Bible and Alter 
Were let down from Heaven at the end 

of a halter. 
And that vital religion would dull ami 

grow callous, 
Unrefreshed, now and then, with a sniff 

of the gallows), — 
And folks are Dinning to think it looks 

odd. 
To choke a poor scamp for the glory of 

God; 
And that He who esteems the Virginia reel 
A bait to draw sainto from their spiritual 

weal, 
And regards the quadrille as a far greater 

knavery 
Than cnuthing His African children 

with slavery, — 
Since all who teke part in a waltz or 

cotillon 
Are mounted for hell on the Devil's own 

pillion, 
Who, as every true orthodox Christian 

well knows. 
Approaches the heart through the door 

of the toes, — 
That He, I was saying, whose judgmente 

are stored 
For such as take steps in despite of his 

word, 
Should look with delight on the ago- 
nized prancing 



128 



A FABLE FOR CRITICS. 



Of. a wretch who hu not the least ground 

for his dancing, 
While the State, standing by, sings a 

verse from the Psalter 
About offering to God on his favorite 

halter, 
And, when the legs droop from their 

twitching divergence. 
Sells the clothes to a Jew, and the 

corpse to the surgeons; — 
Now, instead of all this, I think I can 

direct you all 
To a criminal code both humane and 

effectual ; — 
I propose to shut up every doer of 

wrong 
With these desperate books, for such 

tenn, short or long, 
As by statute in such cases made and 

Provided, 
3 by your wise legislators de- 
cided: 
Thus : — Let murderers be shut, to grow 

wiser and cooler. 
At hard labor for life on the works of 

Miss-— ; 
Petty thieves, kept from flagrauter 

crimes by their fears, 
Shall peruse Yankee Doodle a blank 

term of years, — 
That American Punch, like the English, 

no doubt, — 
Just the sugar and lemons and spirit 

lefl out. 



** But stay, here comes Tityrus Oris- 
wold, and leads on 

The flocks whom he first plucks alive, 
and then feeds on, — 

A loud-cackling swarm, in whose feath- 
ers warm-drest. 

He goes for as perfect a — swan as the 
rest. 

'* There comes Emerson first, whose 

rich words, every one. 
Are like gold nails in temples to hang 

trophies on. 
Whose prose is grand verse, while his 

ver^e, the Lord knows, 
Is some of it pr — No, *t is not even 

prose ; 
I 'm sneaking of metres ; some poems 

nave welled 
From those rare depths of soul that have 

ne'er been excelled ; 



They're not epics, but that doesn't 

matter a pin. 
In creating, the only hard thing's to 

beffin; 
A grass-blade 's no easier to make than 

an oak ; 
If you *ve once found the way, you *v« 

achieved the grand stroke ; 
In the wont of his poems are mines of 

rich matter. 
But thrown in a heap with a crush and 

a clatter; 
Now it is not one thing nor another alone 
Makes a poem, but rather the general 

tone. 
The something pervading, uniting the 

whole, 
The before unconceived, unconceivable 

soul. 
So that just in removing tliis trifle or 

that, you 
Take away, as it were, a chief limb of 

the statue ; 
Roots, wood, bark, and leaves singly 

perfe«!t may he. 
But, clapt hodge-podge together, they 

don't make a tree. 

" But, to come back to Emerson (whom, 

by the way, 
1 believe we left waiting), — his is, we 

may say, 
A Greek head' on right Yankee shoul- 
ders, whose range 
Has Olympus for one pole, for t'other 

the Exchange; 
He seems, to my thinking (although Vm 

afraid 
The comparison must, long ere this, have 

been made), 
A Plotinus-Montaigne, where the ^yp- 

tian's gold mist 
And the Gascon's shrewd wit cheek-by- 

jowl coexist i 
All admire, and yet scarcely six convert! 

he's got 
To I don't (nor they either) exactly 

know what ; 
For though he builds glorious temples, 

't IS odd 
He leaves never a doorway to get in a 

god. 
'T is refreshing to old-fashioned i)eople 

like me 
To meet such a primitive Pagan as he. 
In whose mind all creation is duly re- 
spected 



A FABLE FOR CBITICS. 



129 



As ptrts of lumself — just a little pro- 

iected ; 
And who 's trilling to worship the ttan 

and the sun, 
A convert to — nothing bat Emenon. 
So perfect a balance there is in his 

head. 
That he talks of things sometimes as if 

they were dead ; 
Life, nature, love, God, and aifairs of 

that sort, 
He looks at as merely ideas; in short, 
As if thev were fossus stuck round in a 

cabinet. 
Of such vast extent that our earth 's a 

mere dab in it ; 
Composed just as he is inclined to con- 
jecture her, 
Kamely, one part pure earth, ninety-nine 

parts pure lecturer ; 
You are filled with delight at his clear 

demonstration. 
Each figure, word, gesture, just fits the 

occasion* 
With the quiet precision of science he'll 

sort 'em 
Bat you can't help suspecting the whole 

tk p09i morteiA, 



»<• 



'There are persons, mole-blind to the 

soul's make and style, 
Who insist on a likeness 'twist him and 

Carlyle ; 
To compare him with Plato would be 

vastly fairer, 
Gurlyle 's the more baily, bat £. is the 

rarer; 
He sees fewer objects, but clearlier, troe- 

lier. 
If C.'s as origim&l, E.'s more peculiar ; 
That he's more of a man yoa might say 

of the one^ 
Of the other he *s more of an Emerson ; 
C.'s the Titan, as shaggy of mind as of 

limb, — 
E the dear-eyed Olympian, rapid and 

slim ; 
The one's two thirds Norseman, the 

other half Greek, 
Where the one's most abounding, the 

other 's to seek ; 
C's generals require to be seen in the 

mass, — 
Eu's specialties gain if enlarged by the 

glass; 
C. gives nature and God his own fits of 

the blues, 



And rims common-sense things with 
mystical hues, — 

BL sits in a mystery calm and intense, 

And looks coolly around him with sharp 
common-sense ; 

C. shows you how every-day matters 
anite 

With the dim transdiumal recesses of 
night, — 

While £., in a plain, preternatural way, 

Makes mysteries matters of mere every 
day; 

C draws all his characters quite d la 
Fuseli, — 

He don't sketch their bundles of mus- 
cles and thews illy, 

But he paints with a brush so untamed 
and prof^ise, 

They seem nothing but bundles of mus- 
cles and thews ; 

£. is rather like FUzman, lines strait 
and severe. 

And a colorless outline, but full, round, 
and clear ; — 

To the men he thinks worthy he frankly 
accords 

The design of a white marble statue in 
words. 

C. labors to get at the centre, and 
then 

Take a reckoning trom there of his ac- 
tions and men ; 

£. calmly assumes the said centre as 
granted. 

And, given himself has whatever is 
wanted. 

" He has imitators in scores, who omit 
No part of the man but his wisdom and 

wit, — 
Who go carefully o'er the sky-blue of 

his brain. 
And when be has skimmed it once, 

skim it again ; 
If at all they resemble him, you may be 

sure it is 
Because their shoals mirror his mists 

and obscurities, 
As a mud-puddle seems deep as heaven 

for a minute, 
While a cloud that floats o'er is reflected 

within it. 

" There comes ^ for instance ; to 

see him 's rare sport, 
Tread in Emerson's tracks with legs pain- 
fully short ; 



I 



130 



A FABLE FOR CRITICS. 



How he jnmps, how he straiiiB, and gets 
red in the face. 

To keep sten with the mystagogue's 
natural pace ! 

He follows as close as a stick to a rock- 
et, 

His fingers exploring the prophet's each 
pocket 

Fie, for shame, brother bard ; with good 
fruit of your own, 

Can't you let Neighbor Emerson's or- 
chards alone ? 

Besides, 't is no use, you '11 not find e'en 
a core, — 

has picked up all the windfalls be- 
fore. 

They might strip every tree, and K 
never would catch *em, 

His Hesperides have no rude dragon to 
watch *em ; 

When they send him a dishful, and ask 
him to try 'em. 

He never suspects how the sly rogues 
came by *em ; 

He wonders why 't is there are none 
such his trees on. 

And thinks 'em the best he has tasted 
this season. 

"Yonder, calm as a cloud, Alcott 
stalks in a dream, 

And fancies himself in thy groves, Aca- 
deme, 

With the Parthenon nigh, and the olive- 
trees o'er him. 

And never a fact to perplex him or bore 
him, 

With a snug room at Plato's when night 
comes, to walk to. 

And people from morning till midnight 
to talk to. 

And from midnight till morning, nor 
snore in their listening ; — 

So he muses, his face with the joy of it 
glistening. 

For his highest conceit of a happiest 
state is 

Where they'd live upon acorns, and hear 
him talk gratis ; 

And indeed, I believe, no man ever 
talked better, — 

Each sentence hangs perfectly poised to 
a letter ; 

He seems piling words, but there 's royal 
dust hid 

In the heart of each sky-pieroing pyra- 
mid. 



While he talks he is great, but goes out 

like a taper, 
If you shut him up closely with pen, ink, 

and paper ; 
Yet his fingers itch for 'em from morning 

till night, 
And he thinks he does wrong if he don't 

always write ; 
In this, as in all things, a lamb among 

men, 
He goes to sure death when he goes to 

his pen. 

"Close behind him is Brownson, his 

mouth very full 
With attempting to gulp a Gregorian 

bull; 
Who contrives, spite of that, to pour out 

as he eoes 
A stream of transparent and fordUle 

nrose; 
He shifts quite about, then proceeds to 

expound 
That 't is merely the earth, not himself, 

that turns round. 
And wishes it clearly impressed on your 

mind 
That the weatheroock rales and not fol- 
lows the wind ; 
Proving first, then as deftly confuting 

each side. 
With no doctrine pleased that's not 

somewhere denied. 
He lays the denier aw^y on the 

shelf. 
And then — down beside him lies gravely 

himself. 
He's the Salt River boatman, who al- 
ways stands willing 
To convey friend or foe i^ithout charging 

a shilling. 
And so fond of the trip that, when lei- 
sure *s to spare. 
He '11 row himself up, if he can't get a 

fare. 
The worst of it is, that his logic 's so 

strong. 
That of two sides he commonly choosea 

the wrong; 
If thero is only one, why, he'll split it 

in two, 
And first pummel this half, then that, 

blacK and blue. 
That white 's white needs no proof, but 

it takes a deep fellow 
To prove it jet-black, and that jet-black 

is yellow. 



A FABLE FOR CRITICS. 



131 



He offers the tme faith to drink in a 

sieve, — 
When it reaches your lips there 's naught 

left to beUeve 
But a few silly- (svllo-, I mean,) -gisms 

that squat em 
Like tadpoles, o'eijoyed with the mud at 

the bottom. 



« 



I 



There is WilUs, all natty and jaunty 

and gay. 
Who says his best things in so foppish 

a wav, 
With conceits and pet phrases so thickly 

o'erlaying 'em. 
That one hardly knows whether to thank 

him for saying *em ; 
Orer-omament ruins both poem and 

prose, 
Jost conceive of a Muse with a ring in 

her nose ! 
His prose had a natural grace of its 

own, 
And enongh of it, too, if he 'd let it 

alone; 
But he twitches and jerks so, one fairly 

gets tired. 
And is forced to foivire where he might 

hare admired ; 
Yet whenever it slips away free and un- 

lacedy 
It runs like a stream with a musical 

waste. 
And guigles along with the Hquidest 

sweep ; — 
T is not oeep as a river, but Who 'd 

have it deep ? 
In a countrv where scarcely a village is 

found 
That has not its author sublime and pro- 
found. 
For some one to be slightly shoal is a 

duty. 
And Willis's shallowness makes half his 

beauty. 
His prose winds along with a blithe, 

gurglinff error, 
And reflects aU of Heaven it can see in 

its mirror. 
'T is a narrowish strip, but it is not an 

artifice, — 
'T is the true out-of-doors with its genu- 
ine hearty phiz ; 
It is Nature herself, and there 's some- 
thing in that, 
Since moet brains reflect but the crown 

of a hat. 



No volume I know to read under a tree, 
More truly delicious than bin A TAbri, 
With the shadows of leaves flowing over 

your book. 
Like npple-shades netting the bed of a 

brook; 
With June coming softly your shoulder 

to look over, 
Breezes waiting to turn every leaf of 

your book over. 
And Nature to criticise still as you 

read, — 
The page that bears that is a rare one 

indeed. 

"He 's so innate a cockney, that had 

he been born 
Where plain bear-skin's the only full- 

aress that is worn. 
He 'd have ffiven his own such an air that 

you d say 
'T had been made by a tailor to lounge 

in Broadway. 
His nature 's a glass of champagne with 

the foam on % 
As tender as Fletcher, as witty as Beau- 
mont; 
So his best things are done in the flush 

of the moment. 
If he wait, all is spoiled ; he may stir it 

and shake it, 
But, the fixed air once gone, he can never 

remake it. 
He might be a marvel of easy delightful - 

ness. 
If he would not sometimes leave the r out 

of sprightfulness ; 
And he ought to let Scripture alone — 

't is self-slaughter, 
For nobody likes inspiration-and-water. 
He 'd have been just the fellow to sup at 

the Mermaid, 
Cracking jokes at rare Ben, with an eye 

to the barmaid. 
His wit running up as Canary ran 

down, — 
The topmost bright bubble on the wave 

of The Town. 

"Here comes Parker, the Orson of par- 
sons, a man 

Whom the Church undertook to put un- 
der her ban 

(The Church of Socinus, I mean), — his 
opinions 

Being So- (ultra) -cinian, they shocked 
the Socinians ; 






132 



A FABLE FOR CRITICS. 



I 



They believed — faith, I 'm ponied — I 

think I may call 
Their belief a beiiering la nothing at 

all, 
Or something of that lort ; I know they 

all went 
For a general union of total dissent : 
He went a step farther ; without coogh 

or hem, 
He frankly avowed he belieTod not in 

them ; 
And, before he could be Jnmbled up or 

prerented. 
From tneir orthodox kind of distent he 

dissented. 
There was heresy hors^ you perceive, for 

the right 
Of privately judging means amply that 

light 
Has been gimated to nu, for deciding on 

you; 
And in happier timeii before Atheism 

grew, 
The deed contained danses for cooking 

you too, 
Now at Xerxes and Knnt we all laugh, 

yet our foot 
With the same wave ia wet that mocked 

Xerxes and Knut, 
And we all entertain a sincere private 

notion, 
That our Thua far ! will hav« a great 

weight with the ocean. 
T was BO with our liberal Christiaaa : 

they bore 
With sincerest conviction their chairs to 

the shore ; 
They brandished their worn theological 

birches. 
Bade natural progress keep oat of the 

Churches, 
And expected the lines they had drawn 

to prevail 
With the fast -rising tide to keep out of 

their pale ; 
They had formerly dammed the Pontifi- 
cal See, 
And the same thing, they thought, 

would do nicely for r. ; 
But he turned up his nose at their mur- 
muring and Rhammiog, 
And cared (shall I say ?) not a d^— for 

their dammins ; 
So they first read nim oat of their 

church, and next minute 
Turned round and declared he had never 

been in it. 



But the ban was too small or the man 

was too big, 
For he recks not their bells, booksi and 

candles a fig 
(He don't look like a man who would 

Btay treated shabbily, 
Sophrontscus* son's head o'er the fea- 
tures of Rabelais) ; — 
He bangs and bethwacks them, — their 

tacks he salutes 
With the whole tree of knowledge torn 

up by the roots; 
His sermons with satire are plenteously 

veijuiced. 
And he talks in one breath of Confut- 

see, Cass, Zerduscht, 
Jsck Robinson, Peter the Hermit, Straps 

Dathan, 
Cush, Pitt (not the bottomless, thai 

he's no faith in), 
Pan, Pillicock, Shakespeare, Paul, 

Toots, Monsieur Touson» 
Aldebaran, Alcander, Ben Khont, Ben 

Jonson, 
Thoth, Richter, Joe Smith, Father Paul, 

Judah Monts, 
MusflBUS, Muretus, A^m, *^ ft 8corpio> 

nis, 
Maccabee, Maccaboy, Mac— - Mac — ah ! 

Machiavelli, 
Condorcet, Count d'Orsay, Conder, Say, 

Ganganelli, 
Orion, O'Connell, the Chevalier D'O, 
(See the Memoirs of SuUy,) ro war, the 

great toe 
Of the statue of Jupiter, now made to 

pass 
For that of Jew Peter by good Romish 

brass, 
(You may add for yonrselves, for I find 

it a bore, 
All the names you have ever, or not, 

heard before, 
And when you *ve done that -^ why, in* 

vent a few more.) 
His hearers can't tell yon on Sunday 

beforehand. 
If in that day's discourse they'll bs 

Bibled or Koranod, 
For he 's seized the idea (by his maiw 

tyrdom fired) 
That all men (not orthodox) wiay de 

inspired ; 
Yet though wisdom profiine with his 

creed he may weave in. 
He makes it quite clear what he dou n*i 

believe in. 



A FABLE FOR GiaTICa 



133 



While some, who decry him, think all 

Kingdom Come 
la a sort of a, kind of a, species of 

Hum, 
Of which, as it were, so to speak, not a 

crumb 
Woold be left, if we did n*t keep care- 
fully mum, 
And, to make a clean breast, that *t is 

perfectly plain 
That ali kinds of wisdom are somewhat 

profane ; 
Kow P.'s creed than this may be lighter 

or darker 
Bat in one thing, 't is clear, he has 

faith, namely — Parker ; 
And this is what makes him the crowd- 
drawing preacher. 
There 's a background of god to each 

hard-working feature, 
Erery word that be speaks has been 

fierily fUmaced 
In the blast of a life that has struggled 

in earnest : 
There he stands, looking more like a 

ploughman than priest. 
If not dreadfully awkward, not graceful 

• at least, 
His gestures all downright and same, if 

you will, 
As of brown-fisted Hobnail in hoeing a 

drill, 
But his periods fall on you, stroke after 

stroke, 
like the blows of a lumberer felling an 

oak. 
Yon forget the man wholly, you *re 

thankful to meet 
With a preacher who smacks of the 

field and the street, 
And to hear, you *re not orer-particular 

whence. 
Almost Taylor's profusion, quite Lati- 



mer s sense. 



<•' 



'There is Bryant, as quiet, as cool, 

and as diznified. 
As a smooth, silent iceberg, that never 

is ignified, 
Save when by reflection *t is kindled o* 

nights 
With a semblance of flame by the chill 

Northern Lights. 
He may rank (Griswold says so) first 

bard of your nation 
(There 's no doubt that he stands in 

supreme ice-olation). 



Your topmost Parnassus he may set his 

heel on. 
But no warm applauses come, peal fol- 
lowing peal on, — 
He *s too smooth and too polished to 

hang any zeal on : 
Unqualifiea merits, I *11 grant, if you 

choose, he has *em, 
But he lacks the one merit of kindling 

enthusiasm ; 
If he stir yon at all, it is just, on my 

soul. 
Like being stirred np with the very 

North Pole. 

"He is very nice reading in summer, 

but inter 
No§^ we don't want extra freezing in 

winter; 
Take him up in the depth of July, my 

advice is. 
When ^ou feel an Egyptian devotion to 

ices. 
But, deduct all yon can, there 's enough 

. that 's right good in him, 
He has a true soul for field, river, and 

wood in him ; 
And his heart, in the midst of brick 

walls, or where'er it is, 
Glows, softens, and thrills with the ten- 

derest charities — 
To you mortals that delve in this trade- 
ridden planet? 
No, to old Berkshire*s hills, with their 

limestone and granite. 
If you're one who in low (add foco 

here) desipis, 
Yon will get of his outermost heart (as 

I guess) a piece ; 
But you d get deeper down if you came 

as a precipice. 
And would hreak the last seal of its in- 

wardest fountain, 
If you only oould palm yourself off for 

a mountain. 
Hr. Quivis, or somebody quit« as dis- 
cerning, 
Some scholar who *s hourly expecting 

his learning, 
Oalls B. the American Wordsworth ; 

but Wordsworth 
Is worth near as much as your whole 

tuneful herd 's worth. 
No, don't be absurd, he 's an excellent 

Bryant ; 
But, my friends, you '11 endanger the 

life of your client, 



134 



A FABLE FOR CRITICS. 



By attempting to Btretch him up into a 

giant: 
If you choose to compare him, I think 

there are two per- 
-sons fit for a parallel — Thompson and 

Cowper ; ♦ 
I don't mean exactly, — there *s some- 
thing of each, 
There 's T. s lore of nature, C/s pen- 
chant to preach; « 
Just mix up their minds so that C.'s 

spice of craziness 
Shall balance and neutralize T.'s turn 

for laziness, 
And it ^ves you a brain cool, quite 

fnctionless, quiet, 
Whose internal police nipe the buds of 

all riot, — 
A brain like a permanent strait-jacket 

put on 
The heart which strives vainly to burst 

off a button, — 
A brain which, without being slow or 

mechanic, 
Does more than a larger less drilled, 

more volcanic ; 
He's a Cow])er condensed, with no 

craziness bitten, 
And the advantage that Wordsworth 

before him had written. 

^' But, my dear little bardlings, don't 
prick up your ears 

Nor suppose 1 would rank you and Bry- 
ant as peers ; 

If I call him an iceberg, I don't mean 
to say 

There is nothing in that which is grand 
in its way ; 

He is almost the one of your poets that 
knows 

How much grace, strength, and dignity 
lie in Repose ; 

If he sometimes fall short, he is too 
wise to mar 

His thought's modest fulness by going 
too far ; 

'T would be well if your authors should 
all make a trial 

Of what virtue there is in severe self- 
denial. 



* To demonstrate quickly and eanfly hovr per- 
-versely absurd His to sound this name 

Cotaper, 
As people in general call him named iuper, 
I remark that he rhymes it himself with 

horse-trooper. 



And measure their writings by Hesiod's 

staff, 
Which teaches that all has less Talue 

than half. 

"There is Whittier, whose swelling 
and vehement heart 

Strains the strait- breasted drab of the 
Quaker apart, 

And reveals the live Man, still supreme 
and erect, 

Underneath the bemummying wrappera 
of sect ; 

There was ne'er a man bom who had 
more of the swing 

Of the true lyric bard and all that kind 
of thing ; 

And his failures arise (though perhaps 
he don't know it) 

From the very same cause that has 
made him a poet, — 

A fervor of mind which knows no sep- 
aration 

'Twixt simple excitement and pure in- 
spiration, 

As my Pythoness erst sometimes erred 
from not knowing 

If 'twere I or mere wind through her 
tripod was blowing ; 

Let his mind once get head in its fa- 
vorite direction 

And the torrent of verse bursts the dams 
of reflection, 

While, borne with the rush of the metre 
along, . 

The poet may chance to go right or go 
wrong, 

Content with the whirl and deliriam of 

Then his grammar's not always correct, 

nor his rhymes, 
And he 's prone to repeat his own lyrics 

sometimes. 
Not his best, though, for those are 

struck off at white-heats 
When the heart in his breast like a trip- 
hammer beats, 
And can ne'er be repeated again any 

more 
Than they could have been carefully 

plotted before : 
Like old what's-his-name there at the 

battle of Hastings 
(Who, however, gave more than mere 

rhythmical bastings), 
Our Quaker leads off metaphorical 

fights 



A FABLE FOB CRITICS. 



135 



For reform and whoteTer they call ha- 

man rights. 
Both nnging and striking in front of 

the war, 
And hitting his foes with the mallet of 

Thor ; 
Aniukiuc, one exclaims, on beholding 

his kuoclcs* 
VedUfilii tui, leather-clad Fox f 
Can that be thy son, in the battle's mid 

din, 

Preaching brotherly love and then driv- 
ing it in 
To the brain of the toogh old Goliah of 

sin, 
With the smoothest of pebbles from 

Castaly*s soring 
Impressed on his nard moral sense with 

a sling ? 

" All honor and praise to the right- 
hearted bard 

Who was true to The Voice when sach 
service was hard, 

Who himself was so free he dared sing 
for the slave 

When to look but a protest in silence 
was brave ; 

All honor and praise to the women and 
men 

Who spoke out for the dumb and the 
down-trodden then 1 

I need not to name them, already for each 

I see History preparing the statue and 
niche ; 

They were harsh, but shall you be so 
shocked at hard words 

Who have beaten your pruning-hooks 
up into swords. 

Whose rewards and hurralis men are 
snrer to gain 

By the reaping of men and of women 
than grain ? 

Why should you stand achast at their 
fierce wordy war, if 

You scalp one another for Bank or for 
Tariff? 

Tour calling them cut -throats and 
knaves all day long 

Don't prove that the use of hard lan- 
guage is wrong ; 

While the World's heart beats quicker 
to think of such men 

As signed Tyranny's doom with a bloody 
sU^el-pen, 

While on Fourth-of-Julys beardless ora- 
tors fright one 



With hints at Harmodius and Aristo- 
geiton, 

Yott need not look shy at your sisters 
and brothers 

Who stab with sharp words for the free- 
dom of others ; — 

No, a wreath, twine a wreath for the 
loyal and true 

Who, for sake of the many, dared stand 
with the few, 

Not of blood-spattered laurel for ene- 
mies braved. 

But of broad, peaceful oak -leaves for 
citizens saved ! 

** Here comes Dana, abstractedly loi- 
tering along, 

Involved in a paulo-post-future of song, 

Who '11 be going to write what '11 never 
be written 

Till the Muse, ere he think of it, gives 
him the mitten, — 

Who is so well aware of how things 
should be done. 

That his own works displease him before 
they *re begun, — 

Who so well all tliat makes up good 
poetry knows. 

That the best of his poems is written in 

J>rose ; 
died and bridled stood Pegasus 

waitinff, 
He was booted and spurred, but he loi- 
tered debating ; 
In a very grave question his soul was 

immersed, — 
Which foot in the stirrup he ought to 

put first ; 
And, wnile this point and that he judi- 
cially dwelt on. 
He, somehow or other, had written 

Paul Felton, 
Whose beauties or faults, whichsoever 

you see there, 
You '11 allow only genius could hit upon 

either. 
That he once was the Idle man none 

will deplore. 
But I fear he will never be anything more ; 
The ocean of song heaves and glitters 

before him. 
The depth and the vastness and longing 

sweep o'er him. 
He knows every breaker and shoal on 

the chart, 
He has the Coast Pilot and so on by 

heart, 



136 



A FABLE FOK CSmCS. 



Yet he fpendB liii whole life, like the 
man in the fable, 

In learning to iwim on his library- 
table. 



(«i 



There swa^rs John Neal, who has 

wasted in Maine 
The sinews and chords of his pugilist 

bnin, 
Who might have been poet, hut that, 

in its stead, he 
Preferred to believe that he was so 

already; 
Too hasty to wait till Art* s ripe fruit 

should drop, 
He must pelt down an unripe and 

colicKy crop; 
Who took to the law, and had this 

sterling plea for it. 
It required him to quarrel, and paid 

him a fee for it ; 
A man who *s made leas than he might 

have, because 
He always has thought himself more 

than he was, — 
Who, with very good natural gifts as a 

bard, 
Broke the strings of his lyre out by 

striking too hard, 
And cracked naif the notes of a truly 

fine voice, 
Because song drew less instant attention 

than noise. 
Ah, men do not know how much strength 

is in poise. 
That he goes the farthest who goes far 

enonch, 
And that all bevond that is just bother 

and stun. 
No vain man matures, he makes too 

much new wood ; 
His blooms are too thick for the fruit 

to be good ; 
'Tis the motlest man ripens, 'tis he 

that achieves. 
Just what 's neetled of sunshine and 

shade he receives ; 
Grapes, to mellow, require the cool dark 

of their leaves ; 
Neal wants balance ; he throws his mind 

always too far. 
Whisking out flocks of comets, but never 

a star ; 
He has so much muscle, and loves so to 

show it, 
That he Ktrips himself naked to prove 

he's a poet, 



And, to show he eonld leap Art's wide 

ditch, if he tried. 
Jumps clean o'er it, and into the hedge 

t' other side. 
He has stron^th, but there's nothing 

about him in keeping; 
One gets surelier onward by walking 

than leaping ; 
He has used his own sinews himself to 

distrras. 
And had done vastly more had he done 

vastly leas ; 
In letters, too soon is as bad as too late ; 
Could he only have waited he night 

have been great ; 
But he plumped into Helicon up to the 

waist. 
And muddied the stream ere he took his 

first taste. 

"There is Hawthorne, with genius 

so shrinking and rare 
That you hardly at first see the strength 

that is there ; 
A frame so robust, with a nature so 

sweet. 
So earnest, so graeeful, so solid, so fleet. 
Is worth a descent from Olympus to 

meet ; 
'T is as if a rough oak that for ages had 

stood. 
With his gnarled bony branches like 

ribs of the wood. 
Should bloom, after cycles of straggle 

and scathe. 
With a single anemone trembly and 

rathe; 
His strength is so tender, his wildness 

so meek. 
That a suitable parallel sets one to 

He 's a John Bunyan Fonqu^ a Puritan 

Tieck; 
When Nature was shaping him, day was 

not granted 
For making so full*sized a man as she 

wanted. 
So, to fill out her model, a little she 

sjiared 
From some finer-grained stuff for a 

woman prepued. 
And she could not have hit a more ex- 
cellent plan 
For making him fiilly and perfectly 

man. 
The success of her scheme gave her ao 

much delighty 



f 



▲ FABLE TOB CBmC& 



137 



TUt Bhe tried it agBiB, shortly after, in 

Dwight ; 
Only, while she wm Jmeading and ahap- 

ing the clay, 
She nsg to her work in her sweet child- 

iSh way, 
And found, when she 'd pat the laat 

touch to Us aoul. 
That the mnsic had somdiaw got mixed 

with the whole. 

"Here's Cooper, who's written six 

▼olames to show 
He *8 as good as a lord : well, let *s 

grant that he 's so ; 
If a person prefer that description of 

praijie. 
Why, a coronet 'a certainly cheaper than 

bays; 
fiat he need take no paina to conTince 

ua he's not 
(As his enemies say) the American Soott 
Choose any twelTe men, and let C. read 

aloud 
That one of his novels of which he's 

moat proud. 
And I 'd lay any bet that, without ever 

quitting 
Their box, they 'd be all, to a man, for 

acquitting. 
He has drawn you one character, though, 

that is new. 
One wildflower he 's plucked that is wet 

with the dew 
Of this fresh Western world, and, the 

thing not to miooe. 
He has done naught but copy it ill ever 

since; 
Hia Indians, with proper respect be it 

said. 
Are just Stttty Bumpo, danbed over 

with red. 
And his very Long Toms are the same 

osefhl Nat, 
Rigged up in duck pants and a sou'- 
wester hat 
(Though once in a Ooffin, a good chance 

was found 
To have slipped the old fellow away 

nnderground). 
All his other men-figurea are clothes 

upon sticks, 
The dtmitre chemue of a man in a fix 
(As a captain besieged, when his garri- 

son 's small, 
Sets np caps upon poles to be seen o'er 

the wall) ; | 



And the women he drawa from one 

model don't vary, 
All sappy as maples and flat as a prsi- 

ne. 
When a character 's wanted, he goes to 

the task 
As a cooper would do in composing a 

cask; 
He picks out the staves, of their quail* 

ties heedful, 
Just hoops them tqgether ss tight ss ii 

needful. 
And, if the best fortune should crown 

the attempt, he 
Has made at the most something 

wooden and empty. 

"Don't suppose I would underrate 

Ox>pers abilities; 
If I thought you 'd do that, I sliould 

feel very ill at ease ; 
The men who have given to one charac* 

ter life 
And objective existence are not very 

rife ; 
You may number them all, both prose* 

writers and siugers. 
Without overrunning the bounds of 

your fingers, 
And Natty won t go to oblivion quicker 
Than Adams the parson or Primrose the 

vicar. 

*' There is one thing in Cooper I like, 

too, and that is 
That on manners he lectures his ooun* 

trymen gratis ; 
Not precisely so either, because, for a 

rarity, 
He is paid for his tickets in unpopn* 

larity. 
Now he may overchaige his American 

pictures, 
But you '11 grant there 's a good deal of 

truth in his strictures ; 
And I honor the man who is willing to 

sink 
Half his present repute for the freedom 

to think, 
And, when he has thought, be his cause 

strong or weak. 
Will risk t' other half for the freedom to 

speak. 
Caring naught for what vengeance the 

mob has in store, 
Let that mob be the upper ten thousand 

or lower. 




138 



A FABLE FOB CBITICS. 



<« 






I 



I 



I 



There are tratbs yoa Americans 

need to be told, 
And it never '11 refute them to swagger 

and scold ; 
John Bull, looking o'er the Atlantic, in 

choler 
At jonr aptness for trade, says yon wor- 
ship the dollar ; 
But to scorn such eye-dollar-try 's what 

veiy few do, 
And John goes to that church aa often 

as you do. 
Ko matter what John says, don't try to 

outcrow him, 
'T is enough to go quietly on and out- 

gix)w him ; 
Like most fathers, Bull hates to see 

Number One 
Displacing himself in the mind of his son, 
Ana detests the same faults in himself 

he 'd neglected 
When he sees them again in his child's 

glass reflected ; 
To love one another you 're too like by 

half; 
If he is a bull, you *rc a pretty stout calf, 
And tear your own pasture for naught 

but to show 
What a Dice pair of horns you 're begin- 
ning to grow. 

" There are one or two things I should 

just like to hint. 
For you don't often get the truth told 

you in print ; 
The most of vou (this is what strikes all 

beholders) 
Have a mental and physical stoop in the 

shoulders ; 
Though you ought to be free as the 

winds and the waves, 
You've the gait and the manners of 

runaway slaves ; 
Though you brag of your New World, 

you don't half believe in it ; 
And as much of the Old as is possible 

weave in it ; 
Your goddess of freedom, a tight, buxom 

^rl, 

With hps like a cherry and teeth like a 

pearl, 
With eyes bold as Here's, and hair float- 

iTig froe, 
And full of the sun as the spray of the 

sea, 

Who can sing at a husking or romp at a 
shearing, 



Who can trip through the forests alone 

without fearing, 
Who can drive home the cows with a 

song through the grass, 
Keeps glancing aside into £an>pe*s 

cracked glass. 
Hides her red hands in gloves, pinchn 

up her lithe waist, 
And makes herself wretched with trans- 
marine taste ; 
She loses her fresh countiy charm when 

she takes 
Any mirror except her own rivers and 

lakes. 



<« 



Yon steal Englishmen's books and 
think Englishmen's thought. 

With their salt on her tail your wild 
eagle is caught ; 

Your literature suits its each whisper 
and motion 

To what will be thought of it over the 
ocean ; 

The cast clothes of Europe your states- 
manship tries 

And mumbles again the old blameys and 
lies ; — 

Forget Europe wholly, your veins throb 
with blood. 

To which the duU current in hers is but 
mud; 

Let her ^ncer, let her say yonr experi- 
ment fails. 

In her voice there 's a tremble e'en now 
while she rails, 

And your shore will soon be in the na- 
ture of things 

Covered thick witn gilt drift-wood of 
runaway kings. 

Where alone, as it were in a Longfellow's 
Waif. 

Her*fugitive pieces will find theroselvra 
safe. 

my friends, thank your God, if you 
have one, that he 

'Twixt the Old World and yon set the 
gulf of a sea ; 

Be strong-backed, brown-handed, up- 
right as your pines. 

By the scale of a hemisphere shape your 
designs. 

Be true to yourselves and this new nine- 
teenth Rge, 

As a statue by Powers, or a picture by 
Page, 

Plough, sail, forge, build, carve, paint, 
all things make new, 



I 



A TABLE FOB CBITICS. 



139 



To your own Kew- World instincts con- 
trive to be true. 

Keep yonr ears open wide to the Futore's 
fint call, 

Be whatever you will, bat yonrselves 
first of all, 

Stand fronting the dawn on ToiFs 
heaven-scaling peaks, 
I And become my new race of more prac- 
tical Greeks. — 

■ Hem ! your likeness at present, I shud- 

der to teU o't, 
Is that yon have your slaves, and the 
Greek had his helot" 

Here a gentleman present, who had 
in Ms attic 
' More pepper than brains, shrieked, — 
'* The man 's a fanatic, 
I *m a capital tailor with warm tar and 
! feathers, 

■ And will make him a suit that H serve 
in all weathers; 

Bat we'll argue the point first, I'm 
willing to reason 't. 

Palaver before condemnation *s but de- 
cent ; 

So, through my humble person. Hu- 
manity begs 

Of the fnends of true freedom a loan of 
bad eggs." 

Bat Apollo let one such a look of his 
show forth 

As when ^ic r^icri iouuitt and so forth. 

And the gentleman somehow slunk out 
of the way, 

Bat, as he was going, gained courage to 

say.— 

"At 'slavery in the abstract my whole 
soul rebels, 

I am as strongly opposed to 't as any one 
elae." 

" Ay, no doubt, but whenever I 've hap- 
pened to meet 

With a wrong or a crime, it is always 
concrete," 

Answered Phoebus severely; then turn- 
ing to ns, 

"The mistake of such fellows as just 
made the fuss 

Is only in taking a great busy nation 

For a part of their pitiful cotton-plan- 
tation. — 

But there comes Miranda, Zeus ! where 
shall I flee to? 

She has such a penchant for bothering 
me too! 



She always keeps asking if I don't ob- 
serve a 

Particular likeness 'twizt her and Mi- 
nerva; 

She tells me my efforts in verse are quite 
clever; — 

She 's been travelling now, and will be 
worse than ever ; 

One would think, though, a sharp- 
sighted noter she 'd be 

Of all that 's worth mentioning over the 
sea. 

For a woman must surely see well, if 
she try. 

The whole of whose being's a cap- 
ital I: 

She will take an old notion, and make 
it her own, 

By saying it o'er in her Sibylline 
tone. 

Or persuade you 't Ib something tremen- 
dously deep. 

By repeating it so as to put you to 
sleep; 

And she well may defy any mortal to 
see through it, 

When once she has mixed up her in- 
finite me through it. 

There is one thing she owns in her own 
single right, 

It is native and genuine — namely, her 
spite; 

Though, when acting as censor, she 
privately blows 

A censer of vanity 'neath her own 
nose." 

Here Miranda came up, and said, 

"Phoebus! you know 
That the infinite Soul has its infinite woe. 
As I ought to know, having lived cheek 

by jowl. 
Since the day I was bom, with the In- 
finite Soul ; 
I myself introduced, I myself, I alone, 
To my Land's better life authors solely 

my own. 
Who the sad heart of earth on their 

shoulders have taken, 
Whose works sound a depth by Life's 

quiet unshaken, 
Such as Shakespeare, for instance, the 

Bible, and Bacon, 
Not to mention my own works ; Time's 

nadir is fleet, 
And, as for myself, I 'm quite out of 

conceit — " 



A FABLE FOB CRITICS. 



141 



He 11 tell jon what Snooka Mid about 
the new poet. 

Or how Fogrum was outraged by Ten- 
nyson's Princess; 

He hM spent all his spare time and in- 
tellect since his 

Birth in penning, on each art and 
science, 

Jost the bo^u in which no one puts any 
reliance. 

And though imm^ we're told, horis 
omnilnis sapit^ 

The rule will not fit him» howerer yon 
shape it, 

For he has a poneonial foiwn of aappi- 
ness ; 

He has just enough force to spoil half 
your day's happiness. 

And to make him a sort of mosquito to 
be with. 

But just not enough to dispute or agree 
with. 

These sketches I made (not to be too 
explicit) 

From two honest fellows who made me 
a visit. 

And broke, like the tale of the Bear and 
the Fiddle, 

My reflections on Halleck short off by 
the middle ; 

I sha' n't now go into the snl;geot more 
deeply, 

For I notice that some of my readers look 
sleep'ly ; 

I will barely remark that, 'mongst oivi- 
lized nations. 

There 's none that displays more exem- 
plary patience 

Under all sorts of boring, at all sorts of 
hours. 

From all sorts of desperate persons, than 
oura. 

Kot to speak of our papers, our State 
legislatures. 

And other such triak for sensitive na- 
tures, 

Just look for a moment at Congress, — 
appalled, 

My fancy shrinks back from the phan- 
tom it called ; 

Why, there's scarcely a member un- 
worthy to frown 

*(Tf foa call Snooks sa owl, hs will show by 
hU looks 
That h« '■ morally certain you *re Jealous of 
Snooks.) 



*Neath what Fourier nicknames the 
Boreal crown; 

Only think what that infinite bore- 
pow'r could do 

If apphed with a utilitarian view ; 

Suppose, for example, we shipped it 
with care 

To Sahara's great desert and let it bore 
there ; 

If they held one short sessbn and did 
nothing else, 

They 'd till the whole waste with Arte- 
sian weUs. 

But 'tis time now with pen phono- 
graphic to follow 

Throuim some more of his sketches our 



>U£U 



ughing Apollo : -^ 



*< There comes Harry Franoo, and, as 

he draws near. 
You find that 's a smile which you took 

for a sneer ; 
One half of him contradicts t' other ; 

his wont 
Is to say very sharp things and do very 

blunt ; 
His manner 's aa hard as his feelings are 

tender, 
And a aoriU he '11 make when he means 

to surrender ; 
He's in joke half the time when he 

seems to be sternest, 
When he seems to be joking, be sure 

he 's in earnest ; 
He has common sense in a way that *s 

uncommon, 
Hates humbug and cant, loves his 

friends like a woman, 
Builds his dislikes of cards and his 

friendships of oak. 
Loves a prejudice better than aught but 

a joke. 
Is half upright Quaker, half downright 

Come-ottter, 
Loves Freedom too well to go stark mad 

about her, 
Quite artless himself is a lover of Art, 
Shuts you out of his secrets and into his 

heart. 
And though not a poet, yet all must 

admire 
In his lettoreof Pinto his skill on the liar. 

''There oomes Foe, with his raven, 
like Bamaby Rudge, 
Three fifths of him genius and two 
fifths sheer fudge, 



142 



A FABLE FOR CRITICS. 



Who talks like a l)Ook of iambs and 
peDtameters, 

In a way to make people of common 
sense damn metres, 

Who has written some things quite the 
best of their kind, 

Bnt the heart somehow seems all 
squeezed out by the mind. 

Who — But hey-day ! What 's this ? 
Messieurs Mathews and Poe, 

You must n't fling mud-balls at Long- 
fellow so, 

Does it make a man worse that his char- 
acter's such 

As to make his friends love him (as you 
think) too much? 

Why, there is not a bard at this mo- 
ment alive 

More willing than he that his fellows 
should thrive ; 

While you are abusing him thus, even 
now 

He would help either one of you out of 
a slough ; 

You may say that he *s smooth and all 
that till YOU 're hoarse. 

But remember that elegance also is force ; 

After polishing granite as much as you 
will, 

The heart keens its tough old persis- 
tency stul ; 

Deduct all you can, that still keeps you 
at bay; 

Why, he'll live till men weary of 
Collins and Oray. 

I 'm not over-fond of Greek metres in 
English, 

To me rhyme 's a gain, so it be not too 
jinglish. 

And your modem hexameter verses are 
no more 

Like Greek ones than sleek Mr. Pope is 
like Homer ; 

As the roar of the sea to the coo of a 
pigeon is. 

So, compared to your modems, sounds 
old Melesigenes ; 

I may be too partial, the reason, per- 
haps, o't is 

That I 've heard the old blind man re- 
cite his own rhapsodies. 

And my ear with that music impreg- 
nate may be, 

Like the poor exiled shell with the soul 
of the sea. 

Or as one can't bear Strauss when his 
nature is cloven 



To its deeps within deeps by the stroke 

of Beethoven ; 
But, set that aside, and 't is tmth that 

I speak. 
Had Theocritus written in English, not 

Greek, 
I believe that his exquisite sense would 

scarce change a line 
In that rare, tender, virgin-like pastoral 

Evangeline. 
That's not ancient nor modem, its 

place is apart 
Where time has no sway, in the redm 

of pure Art, 
Tis a shrine of retreat from Earth's 

hubbub and strife 
As quiet and chaste as the author's ova 

life. 

** There comes Philothea, her fince all 
- aglow, 

She has just been dividing some poor 
creature's woe. 

And can't tell which pleases her most, 
to relieve 

His want, or his story to hear and be- 
lieve ; 

No doubt against many deep grief8.she 
prevails. 

For her ear is the refuge of destitute 
tales; 

She knows well that silence is sorrow's 
best food. 

And that talking draws off from the 
heart its black blood, 

So she'll listen with patience and let 
you unfold 

Your bundle of rags as 't were pure cloth 
of gold, 

Which, indeed, it all turns to as soon 
as she's touched it. 

And (to borrow a phrase from the nur- 
sery) mucked it ; 

She has such a musical taste, she will 

go 
Any distance to hear one who draws a 

long bow ; 
She will swallow a wonder by mere 

miffht and main, 
And thinks it Geometry's fault if she's 

.fain 
To consider things flat, inasmuch as 

they 're plain ; . 
Facts with her are accomplished, as 

Frenchmen would say — 
They wUl prove all she wishes them to 

either way, — 



A FABLE FOR CRITICS. 



143 



And, as fact lies on this side or that, we 

must try, 
If we're seeking the truth, to find 

where it don't lie ; 
I was telling her once of a marvellous 

aloe 
That for thousands of years had looked 

spindling and sallow, 
And, though nursed by the fruitfoUest 

powers of mud. 
Had never vouchsafed e*en so much as a 

bud. 
Till its owner remarked (as a sailor, you 

know. 
Often will in a calm) that it never would 

blow, 
For he wished to exhibit the plant, and 

designed 
That its blowing should help him in 

raising the wind ; 
At last it was told him that if he should 

water 
Its roots with the blood of his unmar- 
ried daughter 
(Who was bom, as her mother, a Cal- 

vinist, said. 
With William Law's serious caul on 

. her head). 
It would blow as the obstinate breeze 

did when by a 
Like decree of her father died Iphigenia ; 
At first he declared he himself would be 

blowed 
£re his conscience with such a foul 

crime he would load. 
But the thought, coming oft, grew less 

dark than before, 
And bemused, as each creditor knocked 

at his door, 
If this were but done they would dun 

me no more; 
I told Philothea his struggles and 

doubts, 
And how he considered the ins and the 

outs 
Of the visions he had, and the dreadful 

dyspepsy. 
How he went to the seer that lives at 

Po'keepsie, 
How the seer advised him to sleep on it 

first. 
And to read his \Ag volume in case of 

the worst. 
And further advised he should pay him 

five dollars 
For writing Snm, Sum, on his wrist- 
bands and collars; 



Three years and ten days these dark 

words he had studied 
When the daugliter was missed, and the 

aloe had budded ; 
I told how he watched it grow large and 

more larse, 
And wondered how much for the show 

he should charge, — 
She had listened with utter indifference 

to this, till 
I told how it bloomed, and, discharging 

its pistil 
With an aim the £umenides dictated, 

shot 
The botanical filicide dead on the spot ; 
It had blown, but he reaped not his 

horrible cains. 
For it blew with such force as to blow 

out his brains. 
And the crime was blown also, because 

on the wad, 
AVhich was paper, was writ * Visitation 

of God,*^ 

As well as a thrilling account of the deed 
Which the coroner kindly allowed me to t 

read. 

" Well, my friend took this story up 

just, to be sure. 
As one might a poor foundling that 's 

laid at one s door ; 
She combed it and washed it and clothed 

it and fed it, 
And as if 't were her own child most 

tenderly bred it, 
Laid the scene (of the legend, I mean) 

far away a- 
•mong the green vales underneath Hima- 
laya, 
And by artist-like touches, laid on here 

and there. 
Made the whole thing so touching, I 

frankly declare 
I have read it all thrice, and, perhaps I 

am weak. 
But I found every time there were tears 

on my cheek. 

" The pole, science tells us, the mag- 
net controls, 

But she is a magnet to emigrant Poles, 

And folks with a mission that nobody 
knows, 

Throng thickly about her as bees round 
a rose; 

She can fill up the carets in such, make 
their scope 



144 



A FABLE FOB CRmCS. 



Gonver^ to some focus of rational hope, 
And, with sympathies freahas the morn- 
ing, their gall 
Can transmute into honey, — bat this is 

not all ; 
Not only for those she has aolace, 0, say, 
Vice's desperate nursling adrift in Broad- 
way, 
Who clingest, with all that is lefb of thee 

human, 
To the last slender spar from the wreck 

of the woman, 
Hast iJioa not fotind one shore where 

those tired drooping feet 
Could reach Arm mother-earth, one toSL 

heart on whose beat 
The soothed head in silence reposing 

coald hear 
The chimes of far childhood throb back 

on the ear! 
Ah, there's many a beam from the foun* 

tain of day 
That, to reach us unclouded, mnat pass, 

on its way, 
Throngh the soul of a woman, and hers 

is wide ope 
To the influence of Heaven as the blue 

eyes of Hope ; 
Yes, a great heart is hen, one that dares 

to go in 
To the prison, the alare-hat, the alleys 

of sin. 
And to bring into each, or to find there, 

some line 
Of the never completely oat-trampled 

divine ; 
If her heart at high floods awamps her 

bmin now and then, 
'T is but richer for that when the tide 

ebbs aoen. 
As, after ola Nile haa subsided, his 

plain 
Overflows with a second broad deluge of 

grain; 
What a wealth would it bring to the 

narrow and sour 
Could they be as a Child but for one lit- 
tle hour I 

"What! Irving? thrice welcome, 
warm heart and fine brain, 
You bring back the happiest spirit from 

Spain, 

And the gravest sweet humor, that ever 
I were there 

I Since Cervantes met ideath in his gentle 
I despair; 



Nay, don't be embarrassed, nor look so 

beseeching, — 
I aha' n't run directly against my own 

preaching. 
And, having just laughed at thdr Raph- 
aels aud Dantes, 
Gk> to setting you up bedde matchless 

Cervantes ; 
But allow me to speak what I honestlr ' 

feel, — ' I 

To a trne poet-heart add the Am of Diek 

Steele, 
Throw in all of Addison, minM$ the 

chill, 
With the whole of that partnership's 

stock and ffood-will. 
Mix well, and whue stirring, hum o'er, 

as a spell, 
The fine old English Gentleman, sim- \ 

roer it well. 
Sweeten just to ^ur own private liking 

then stram. 
That only the flnest and clearest reomin, 
Let it stand out of doon till a sool it 

receives 
From the warm lazy sun loitering down 

through green leaves, 
And you '11 And a choice nature,, not 

wholly deserving 
A name either EngUsh or Yankee,— 

just Irving: 

" There goes, — but iUi nominiM «m- 

bra, — his name | 

You'll be glad enough, some day or 

other, to claim. 
And will all crowd about him and swear 

that you knew him 
If some English hack-critic should 

chance to review him. 
The old porcoB ante ne profieiaHi 
Margaritas, for him you have verified 

gratis ; 
What matters his name f Why, it may 

be Sylvester, 
Judd, Junior, or Junius, Ulysses, or 

Nestor, 
For aught / know or care ; 't is enough 

that I look 
On the author of 'Maigaret,* the fint 

Yankee book 
With the 9(ml of Down East in 't, and 

thinss farther East, 
As far as uie threshold of morning, at 

least. 
Where awaits the fair dawn of the sim- 
ple and true. 



A FABLE FOR CRITICS. 



145 



i Of the day that comes slowly to make 

1 all diinss new. 

' T has a smack of nine woods, of bore 

field- and blealc hill, 
I Snch as only the breed of the Mayflower 
could till ; 
The Puritan *8 shown in it, tough to the 
I core, 

' Such as prayed, smiting Agag on red 
Marstou Moor: 
With an unwilling humor, half choked 

by the drouth 
In brown hollows about the inhospitable 

month ; 
With a soul full of poetry, though it has 
qualms 
. About finding a happiness out of the 
Psalms ; 
Fall of tenderness, too, though it shrinks 

in the dark, 
Hamadryad-like, underthecoarae, shaggy 

bark; 
That sees visions, knows wrestlings of 

God with the Will, 
And has its own Sinais and thunderings 

still." 

I 

1 

Here, — " Forgive me, Apollo, I 

cried, "wnile I pour 
My heart out to my birthplace : loved 

more and more 
Dear Baystate, from whose rocky bosom 

thy sons 
Should suck milk, strong-will-giving, 

brave, such as runs 
In the veins of old Graylock — who is it 

that dares 
Call thee pedler, a soul wrapped in bank- 
books and shares ? 
It is false ! She 's a Poet ! I see, as I 

write. 
Along the far railroad the steam-snake 

glide white. 
The cataract-throb of her mill-hearts I 

hear, 
The swift strokes of trip-hammers weary 

my ear, 
Sledges ring upon anvils, through logs 

the saw screams. 
Blocks swing to their place, beetles 

drive home the beams : — 
It is songs such as these that she croons 

to the din 
Of her fast- flying shuttles, year out and 

year in, 
While from earth's farthest comer there 

comes not a breeze I 

10 



1 



But wafts her the buzz of her gold- 
gleaning bees : 

What uiough those horn hands have as 
yet found small time 

For paintine and sculpture and music 
and rnyme f 

These will come in due order; the need 
that pressed sorest 

Was to vanquish the seasons, the ocean, 
the foi-est. 

To bridle and harness the rivers, the 
steam, 

Making that wliirl her mill-wheels, this 
tu^ in her team, 

To vassalize old tyrant Winter, and make 

Him delve surlily for her on river and 
lake ; — 

When this New World was parted, she 
strove not to shirk 

Her lot in the heirdom, the tough, si- 
lent W^ork, 

The hero-share ever, from Herakles down 

To Odin, the Earth's iron sceptre and 
crown : 

Yes, thou dear, noble Mother ! if ever 
men's praise 

Could be claimed for creating heroical 
lays, 

Thon hast won it ; if ever the laurel di- 
vine 

Crowned the Maker and Builder, that 
glory is thine ! 

Thy son^ are right epic, they tell how 
this rude 

Rock-rib of our earth here was tamed and 
subdued ; 

Thon hast written them plain on the 
face of the planet 

In brave, deathless letters of iron and 
granite ; 

Thou hast printed them deep for all 
time ; they are set 

From the same runic type-fount and 
alphabet 

With thy stout Berkshira hills and the 
arms of thy Bay, — 

They are staves from the burly old May- 
flower lay. 

If the drones of the Old World, in queru- 
lous ease. 

Ask thy Art and thy Letters, point 
proudly to these. 

Or, if they deny these are Letters and Art, 

Toil on with the same old invincible 
heart; 

Thou art rearing the pedestal broad- 
based and grand 



n 



146 



A FABLE FOR CBmCS. 



Whereon the fair shapes of the Artist 

shall stand, 
And creating, through labors undaunted 

and long, 
The thenie for all Sculpture and Paint* 

ing and Song t 

*' But my ^ood mother Baystate wants 

no praise of mine. 
She learned from her mother a precept 

divine 
About something that butters no pars- 
nips, her /brte 
In another direction lies, work is her sport 
(Though she '11 courtesy and set her cap 

straight, that she will. 
If you talk about Plymouth and red 

Bunker's hill). 
Dear, notable goodwife ! by this time of 

night, 
Her hearth is swept clean, and her fire 

burning bright, 
And she sits in a chair (of home plan and 

make) rocking. 
Musing much, all the while, as she darns 

on a stocking, 
Whether turkeys will come pretty high 

next Thanksgiving, 
Whether flour '11 be so dear, for, as sure 

as she 's living. 
She will use rye-and-i^jun then, whether 

the pi^ 
By this time ain't got pretty tolerable big. 
And whether to sell it outrightwill be best, 
Or to smoke hams and shoulders and 

salt down the rest, — 
At this minute, she 'dswop all my verses, 

ah, cruel ! 
For the last patent stove that is saving 

of fuel ; 
So I '11 just let Apollo go on, for his phiz 
Shows I 've kept him awaiting too long 

as it is. 

"If our friend, there, who seems a 

reporter, is done 
With his burst of emotion, why, / will 

go on," 
Said Apollo ; some smiled, and, indeed, 

1 must own 
There was something sarcastic, perhaps, 

in his tone; — 

"There's Holmes, who is matchless 
among you for wit ; 
A Leyden-jar always fuU-chai^ged, from 
which flit 



The electrical tingles of hit after 

hit; 
In long poems 't is painful someUnwi^ 

and invites 
A ihouj^t of the way the new Tel^gn^ 

writes. 
Which pricks down its little sharp sen- 
tences spitefully 
As if you got more than you 'd title to 

rightfully. 
And you find yourself hoping its wild 

father Lightning 
Would flame in for a second and give | 

you a fright'ning. 
He has perfect sway of what / call s 

sham metre. 
Bat many admire it, the English pen- I 

tameter, 
And (Campbell, I think, wrote most com- 
monly worse, 
With less nerve, swing, and fire in the 

same kind of verse. 
Nor e'er achieved aught in 't so worthy 

of praise 
As the tribute of Holmes to the grand 

MaraeUlaite, 
You went crazy last year over Bulvefs 

New Timon; — 
Why, if B., to the day of his dying, j 

should rhyme on, i 

Heaping verses on verses and tomes | 

upon tomes. 
He could ne'er reach the best point and 

vigor of Holmes. 
His are just the fine hands, too, to 

weave you a lyric 
Full of fancy, fun, feeling, or spiced 

with satyric 
In a measure so kindly, you doubt if 

the toes 
That are trodden upon are your own or 

your foes*. 

"Thew is Lowell, who's striving ; 

Parnassus to climb j 

With a whole bale of inns tied together i 

with rhyme, | 

He might get on alone, spite of bnm- ; 

Dies and boulders. 
But he can't with that bundle he has on 

his shoulders, | 

The top of the hill he will ne'er come , 

niffh reaching 
Till he Teams the distinction 'twixt ' 

sinffing and preaching; 
His lyre has some chords that would { 

ring pretty well, 



A. FABLE lOB CSmca. 



147 



"1 



But he 'd nther Vy lulf make a dram 

of the shell, 
And nttle away till he *8 old as Me* 

thusalem, 
At the head of a march to the last new 

Jerusalem. 



" There goes Halleck, whose Fanny 's 
a pseudo Don Joan, 

With the wickedness out that gave salt 
to the true one. 

He 's a wit, though, I hear, of the very 
first order, 

And once made a pun on the words soft 
Reconler : 

More than this, he 's a very great poet, 
I *m told. 

And has had his works published in 
crimson and gold. 

With something they call 'Illustra- 
tions,' to wit, 

Like those with which Chapman ob- 
scured Holy Writ,* 

Which are said to illustrate, hecanse, as 
I view it. 

Like lucus a nan, they precisely don't do 

it; 
Let a man who can write what himself 

understands 
Keep clear, if he can, of designing men*s 

hands. 
Who bury the sense, if there's any 

worth having, 
And then very honestly call it engrav- 
ing. 
But, to quit hadinoffef which there >sn*t 

much wit in, 
Halleck *s better, I doubt not, than aU 

he has written ; 
In his verse a clear glimpse you wiU 

frequently find. 
If not of a great, of a fortunate mind. 
Which contrives to be true to its natural 

loves 
In a world of back-offices, ledgers, and 

stoves. 
When his heart breaks away from the 

brokers and banks, 
And kneels in his own private shrine to 

give thanks. 
There *s a genial manliness in him that 

earns 
Oursincerest respect (read, for instance, 

his "Bums"), 

* (Cttis rightly called wooden, an alt most 
julmlt) 



And we can't but regret (seek ezcnse 

where we may) 
That 80 much of a man has been ped* 

died away. 

" But what 's that ? a mass-meeting t 
No, there come in lots, 

The American Bulwers, Disraelis, and 
Scotts, 

And in short the American everything- 
elses. 

Each charsin^ the others with envies and 
jeah)U8ies ; — 

By the way, 'tis a fact that displayt 
what profusions 

Of all kinds of greatness bless free insti- 
tutions, 

That while the Old World has produced 
barely eight 

Of such poets as all men agree to call 
great, 

And of other great characters hardly a 
score 

(One might safely say less than that 
rather than more), 

With you every year a whole crop is 
begotten, 

Tliey 're as much of a staple as com is, 
or cotton ; 

Why, there 's scarcely a huddle of log- 
huts and shanties 

That has not brought forth its own Mil- 
tons and Dantes ; 

I myself know ten Byrons, one Cole- 
ridge, three Shelleys, 

Two BaphaeU^ six Titians, (I think) one 
Apelles, 

Leonardos and Rubenses plenty as 
lichens. 

One (but that one is plenty) American 
Dickens, 

A whole flock of Lambs, any number of 
Tennysons, — 

In short, if a man has the luck to have 
any sons, 

He may ^1 pretty certain that one out 
of twain 

Will be some very great person over again. * 

There is one inconvenience in all this, 
which lies 

In the fact that by contrast we estimate 
size,* 

* That is in most cases we do, bnt not all. 
Past a doubt, there are men who are innately 

sntall. 
Such aa Blank, who, without being 'mtniahed 

a tittle. 
Might stand for a type of the Absolute Little. 



I 148 



A FABLE FOR CRITICS. 



And, where tLere are none except Ti- 
tans, great stature 
Is only a simple proceeding of nature. 
What puff tlie strained sails of your 

praise will you furl at, if 
The calmest degree that you know is 

superlative f 
At Rome, all whom Charon took into 

his wherry must. 
As a matter of course, be well ittimtut 

and errimuttf 
A Greek, too, could feel, while in that 

famous boat he tost, 
That his fheuds would take care he was 

iffTOit and urrarost, 
And formerly we, as through grave- 
yards we past, 
Thought the world went from bad to 

worst fearfully fast ; 
Let us glance for a moment, 'tis well 

worth the pains. 
And note what an average graveyard 

coubiins ; 
There lie levellers levelled, duns done 

up themselves, 
There are booksellers finally laid on their 

shelves, 
Horizontally there lie upright politi- 
cians, 
Dose-a-dose with their patients sleep 

faultless physicians, 
There are slave-drivers quietly whipped 

underground, 
There bookbinders, done up in boards, 

are fast bound, 
There card-players wait till the last 

trump be played. 
There all the choice spirits get finally 

laid, 
There the babe that 's unborn is supplied 

with a berth, 
There men without legs get their six 

feet of earth, 
There lawyers repose, each wrapjwd up 

in his case. 
There seekers of ofHce are sure of a 

place, 
There defendant and plaintiff get equally 

cast, 
There shoemakers quietly stick to the 

last, 
There brokers at length become silent 

as stocks, 
There stage-drivers sleep without quit- 
ting their box. 
And so forth and so forth and so forth 

and so on. 



With this kind of stuff one might end- 
lessly go on ; 

To come to tne point, I may safely as- 
sert you 

Will find in each yard every cardinal 
virtue ; * 

Each has six truest patriots : four dis- 
coverers of etner, 

Who never had thought on *t normeD- 
tioned it either; 

Ten poets, the greatest who ever wrote 
rhyme : 

Two hundred and forty first men of 
their time: 

One person whose portrait just gave the 
least hint 

Its original had a most horrible squint : 

One critic, most (what do they call 
it ?) suggestive, 

Who never had used the phrase ob- or 
subjective : 

Forty fathers of Freedom, of whom 
twenty bred 

Their sons for the rice-swamps, at so 
much a head, 

And their daughters for — faugh ! thirty 
mothers of Gracchi : 

Non-resistants who gave many a spirit- 
ual black -eye : 

Eight true friends of their kind, one of 
whom was a jailer : 

Four captains almost as astounding as 
Taylor : 

Two dozen of Italy's exiles who shoot 
us his 

Kaisership daily, stem pen-aud-iuk 
Hrutnses, 

Who, in Yankee back -parlors, i^ith 
cnicified smile,! 

Mount serenely their countr}''s funereal 
pile : 

Ninety-nine Irish heroes, ferocious re- 
bel lers 

'Gainst the Saxon in cis-marine garrets 
and cellars. 

Who sliake their dread fists o*er the sea 
and all that, — 

As long as a copper drops into the hat: 

Nine hundred Teutonic republicans 
stark 

From Yaterland's battles just won — in 
the Park, 

• (And at this Just conclusion will surdjr a^ 

rive, 
That the goodnesB of earth is more dead than 

alive.) 
t Not forgetting their tea and their toast, 

though, the while. 



A FABLE FOB CBTTICa 



149 



Who the happy profesaion of martyrdom 

take 
Wheneyer it gives them a chance at a 

steak : 
Sixty-two second Washingtons : two or 

three Jacksons : 
And so many everythings-else that it 

racks one's 
Poor memory too much to continue the 

list. 
Especially now they no longer exist ; — 
I would merely observe that you've 

taken to giving 
The puffs that belong to the dead to the 

living, 
And that somehow your trump-of-con- 

temporary-dpom's tones 
Is tuned after olid dedications and tomb- 
stones." 

Here the critic came in and a thistle 

presented — * 
From a frown to a smile the god's fea- 
tures relented, 
As he stared at his envoy, who, swelling 

with pride, 
To the goa's asking look« nothing 

daunted, replied, — 
"You're surprised, I suppose, I was 

absent so long, 
But your godship respecting the lilies 

was wrong; 
I hunted the gaiden from one end to 

t' other. 
And got no reward but vexation and 

bother. 
Till, tossed out with weeds in a comer 

to wither, 
This one lily I found and made haste to 

bring hither." 

" Did he think I had given him a book 
to review ? 

I ought to have known what the fellow 
would do," 

Muttered Ph(£bus aside, "for a thistle 
' will pass 

Beyond douot for the queen of all flow- 
ers with an ass; 

He has chosen in just the same way as 
he 'd choose 

His specimens out of the books he re- 
views ; 

* Tani hnck now to page— goodness only 
knows what, 
And take a firesh hold on the thread of my 
plot 



And now, as this offers an excellent text, ' 

I '11 give 'em some brief hints on criti- 
cism next." 

So, musing a moment, he turned to the 
crowd, I 

And, clearing his voice, spoke as follows i 
aloud : — 

"My friends, in the happier days of 

the muse, 
We were luckily free from such things 

as reviews ; 
Then naught came between with its fog 

to make clearer 
The heart of the poet to that of his 

hearer ; , 

Then the poet brought heaven to the 

people, and they 
Felt that they, too, were poets in hear- 
ing his lay ; 
Then the poet was prophet, the past in 

his soul 
Precreated the future, both parts of one 

whole ; ^ 

Then for him there was nothing too great 

or too small. 
For one natural deity sanctified all ; 
Then the bard owned no clipper and 

meter of moods ( 

Save the spirit of silence that hovers and 

broods 
O'er the seas and the mountains, the 

rivers and woods ; 
He asked not earth's verdict, forgetting 

the clods, 
His soul soared and sang to an audience 

of gods; 
'T was for them that he measured the 

thought and the line. 
And shaped for their vision the perfect 

design. 
With as glorious a foresight, a balance 

as true, 
As swung out the worlds in the infinite < 

blae; 
Then a glory and greatness invested 

man's heart, 
The universal, which now stands es- 
tranged and a]}art. 
In the free individual moulded, was 

Art; 
Then the forms of the Artist seemed 

thrilled with desire 
For something as yet unattained, fuller, 

higher. 
As once with her lips, lifted hands, and 

eyes listening, ' 



r 



150 



A FABLE FOB CBITICS. 



And her whole upward soul in her coun- 
< tenance glistening, 

Eurydice stood — like a beacon nnfired, 
Which, once touched with flame, will 

leap heav*nward inspired — 
And waited with answering kindle to 

mark 
The first gleam of Orpheus that pained 

the red Dark. 
Then painting, song, sculpture did more 

than relieve 
The need that men feel to create and 
beliere, 
I And as, in ail beauty, who listens with 
' love 

I Hears these words oft repeated — * be- 
yond and above,* 
> So these seemed to be but the visible 

sign 
! Of the grasp of the soul after things more 
I divine ; 

j They were ladders the Artist erected to 

climb 
i O'er the narrow horizon of space and of 
I time. 

And we see there the footsteps by which 
' men had gained 

j To the one rapturous glhnpee of the 
I never-attained, 

' As shepherds could erst sometimes trace 

in the sod 
, The last spuming print of a sky-cleaving 
! god. 

; "But now, on the poet's dis-privaded 

moods 
, With do this and do that the pert critic 
intrudes ; 

While he thinks he 's been barely fulfill- 
ing his duty 

To interpret *twixt men and their own 
sense of beautv, 
' And has striven, while others sought 
honor or pelf. 

To make his kind happy as he was him- 
self. 

He finds he's been guilty of horrid 
oflTences 

In all kinds of moods, numbers, genders, 
and tenses ; 

He 's been ob and «u2>jective, what Kettle 
calls Pot, 

Precisely, at all events, what he ought not. 

You have done thia^ says one judge ; 
doM thatt says another ; 

You should have done this^ grumbles 
one ; that, says 't other ; 



Never mind what he touches, one shrieks 

out Tdtfoo! 
And while he is wondering what he shall 

do. 
Since each suggests opposite topics for ! 

•ong, I 

They all shout together you'rt ri^J , 

and }f(m* re wrong / , 

" Nature fits all her children vith 

something to do. 
He who would write and can't write, can 

surely review. 
Can set up a small booth as critic and sell 

us nis 
Petty conceit and his pettier jealousifs; 
Thus a lawyer's apprentice, just out of 

his teens. 
Will do for the Jeflrey of six ma^- 

zines; ' 

Havinff read Johnson's lives of the poets 

half through. 
There's nothing on earth he 's not com- 
petent to ; I 
He reviews with as much nonchalance as . 

he whistles, — ' 

He goes through a book and just picks 

out the thistles ; 
It matters not whether he blame or com- 
mend. 
If he 's bad as a foe, he *s far worse as a | 

friend : ' 

Let an author but write what 's above his | 

poor scope. 
He goes to work gravely and twists up a 

rope. 
And, inviting the world to see punish- 
ment done. 
Hangs himself up to bleach in the wind 

and the sun ; 
'T is delightful to see, when a man comes 

along 
Who has anything in him peculiar and 

strong, 
Every cockboat that swims clear its fierce 

(pop) gundeck at him. 
And maxe as he glasses its ludicrous Peck 

at him — " 



Hers Miranda came up and began, 

"As to that—" 
Apollo at once seized his gloves, cane, 

and hat. 
And, seeing the place getting rapidly 

cleared, 
I, too, snatched my notes and forthwith 

disappeared. 




THE BIGLOW PAPERS, 



L 



NOTICES OF AN INDEPENDENT PRESS. 



ri HATB observed, reader (bene- or male- 
▼olent, as it may happen), that it is ens- 
tomarj to append to tne second editions of 
books, and to the second works of authors, 
short sentences commendatory of the first, 
under the title of Notices of the Press. 
These, I have been given to understand, 
are procurable at certain establislied rates, 
payment being made either in money or 
advertising patronase by the publisher, or 
by an adequate outlay of servility on the 
part of the author. Considering these 
things with myself, and also that such 
notices are neither intended, nor generally 
believed, to convey anv real opinions, be- 
ing a purely ceremonial accompaniment of 
literature, and resembling certihcates to the 
virtues of various morbiferal panaceas, I 
conceived that it would be not only more 
economical to prepare a sufficient number 
of such myself, but also more immediately 
subservient to the end in view to prefix 
them to this our primary edition rather 
than await the contingency of a second, 
when they would seem to be of small util- 
ity. To delay attaching the bobs until the 
second attempt at flying the kite would 
indicate but a slender experience in that 
usefol art Neither has it escaped my 
notice, nor failed to afford me matter of 
reflection, that, when a circus or a caravan 
is about to visit Jaalam, the initial step 
is to send forward large and highly orna- 
mented bills of performance to be liung in 
the bar-room and the post-office. These 
having been sufficiently gazed at, and be- 

S'nning to lose their attractiveness except 
r the flies, and, trulv, the boys also (m 
whom I find it impossible to repress, even 
during school-hours, certain oral and tele- 
graphic communications concerning the 
expected show), upon some fine morning 
the band enters in a gayly painted wagon, 
or triumphal chariot, and with noisy ad- 
vertisement, by means of brass, wood, and 
sheepskin, makes the circuit of our startled 
village streets. Then, as the exciting 
touDOs draw nearer and nearer, do I de- 



siderate those eyes of Aristarchus, " whose 
looks were as a breeching to a boy." 
Then do I perceive, with vain regret 
of wasted opportunities, the advantage 
of a pancratic or pantechnic education, 
since he is most reverenced by my little 
subjects who con throw the cleanest sum- 
merset or walk most securely upon the 
revolving cask. The story of tne Pied 
Piper l)ecomes for the first time credible 
to me (albeit confirmed by the Hameliners 
dating their le^al instruments from the 
period of his exit), as I behold how those 
strains, without pretence of magical po- 
tency, bewitch the pupillarv legs, nor 
leave to the pedagogic an entire self-con- 
trol. For these reasons, lest my kingly 
prerogative should suffer diminution, 1 
prorogue my restless commons, whom I 
follow into the street, chieflv lest some 
mischief may chance befall tnem. After 
the manner of such a band, I send forward 
the following notices of domestic manufac- 
ture, to make brazen proclamation, not 
unconscious of the advantage which will 
accrue, if our little craft, cymbula sutilis, 
shall seem to leave port with a clipping 
breeze, and to carry, in nautical phrase, a 
bone in her mouth. Nevertheless, I have 
chosen, as being more equitable, to pre- 
pare some also sufficiently objurgatory, 
that readers of every taste may find a dish 
to their palate. I have modelled them 
upon actually existing specimens, pre- 
served in my own cabinet of natural curios- 
ities. One, in particular, I had copied with 
tolerable exactness from a notice of one 
of my own discourses, which, from its su- 
perior tone and appearance of vast experi- 
ence, I concluded to have been written by 
a man at least three hundred years of age, 
though I recollected no existing instance 
of such antediluvian longevity. Never- 
theless, I afterwards discovered the author 
to be a young gentleman preparing for the 
ministry under the direction of one of my 
brethren in a neighboring town, and whom 
I had once instinctively corrected in a 



154 



THE BIGLOW PAPEBS. 



Latin quantity. But this I have b€«n 
forced to omit, from its too great length. 
— H. W.] 



From tJu UtUvencd LUtery Unlvene. 

Full of passages which rivet the attention of 
the reader. .... Under a rustic garb, aentl- 
nienta are conveyed which should be committed 
to the memory and engraven on the heart of 
every moral and social being. .... We con- 
sider this a unique perfonuance. .... We 
hope to see it soon introduced into our «)nimon 

schools Mr. WUbur has ])erformefl his 

duties as editor with excellent taste and Judg- 
ment This is a vein which we hope to 

see fluccessftiUy prosecuted. .... We hail the 
appearance of this work as a long stride toward 
the formation of a purely aboriginal, indige- 
nous, native, and American literature. We re- 
joice to meet with an author national enough 
to break away ftt)m the Hlaviah deference, too 
common among us, to En^ish grammar and 

orthography Where all is so good, we 

are at a loss how to make extracta. .... On 
tite whole, we may call it a volume whi<;h no 
library, pretending to entire completeness, 
should fail to place upon Its ahelves. 



Prom tht Higginbottomopolii Snapping4urfU, 

A collection of the merest balderdash and 
doggerel that it was ever our had fortune to 
lay eyes on. The author is a vulgar buffoon, 
and the editor a talkative, tedious old fool. 
We use strong hmguage, but should any of our 
readers peruse the book, (fh>m which cakmity 
Heaven preserve them !) they will And reasons 
for it thick aa the leaves of Vallumbroaer, or, 
to use a still more expressive comnarison, as 
the combined heads of author and ealtor. The 
work is wretchedly got up. .... We shonld 
like to know how much BritUh goM was pock- 
eted by this libeller of our country and her 
purest patriota. 



From the Ol4fi>grumvaU Mentor. 

We have not had time to do more than glance 
through this handsomely printed volume, but 
the name of its respectable editor, the Rev. Mr. 
Wilbur, of Jaalam, will afford a snflRcient guar- 
anty for the worth of its contents The 

paper is white, the type clear, and the volume 
of a convenient and attractive sin. .... In 
reading this elegantly executed work, it has 
seemed to us that a passage or two might have 
been retrenched with advantage, and that the 

general 8tyle of diction was susceptible of a 
isher ixilish On the whole, we may 

safely leave the nngratef^il task of criticism to 
the reader. We will barely suggest, that in 
volumes intende<l, as this is, for the Illustration 
of a provincial dialect and tnms of expression, 
a daxli of humor or satire might he thrown in 
with advantage, .... The work ia admirably 
got up This work will form an appro- 
priate ornament to the centre-table. It is 
oeatitifully printed, on paper of an excellent 
quality. 



From the Bungtown Copper and Comprtkeiuive 
Tocfia (a trf-weaJaif ^miljf Jovrndl). 

Altogether an admirable work. .... Fnll 
of humor, boisterous, but delicate, — of wit 
withering and scorching, yet oombhied with a 

Sathos cool as morning dew,— of satire pnn- 
erons aa the mace of ftchaid, yet keen as the 

Bcymitar of Saladtn A work Aill of 

" mountain-mirth," mischievous as Pnck, and 

lightsome as Ariel We know not whether 

to admire most the genial, fk«sh. and discursive 
concinnity of the author, or his plavftil fhncy, 
weird imaghiation. and compass or style, at 
once both objective and sul^Jective. .... We 
might indulge In some criticisms, Imt, were the 
author other than he is, he would be a diftnent 
being. As It is, he has a wonderful poet, which 
flits m>m flower to flower, and beam the reader 
irresistibly along on its eagle pinions Oike Gany- 
mede) to the "highest heaven of invention." 
.... We love a book so purely ol^ective. .... 
Many of his pictures of natund scenery have an 
extraordinary sul^ective clearness and fidelity. 
.... In fine, we consider this as one of the 
most extraordinary volumes of this or any age. 
We know of no English author who could have 
written it It is a work to which the yrond 
genius of our country, standing with one foot 
on the Aroostook and the other on the Kit 
Grande, and holding up the star-spangled lian- 
ner amid the wreck of matter and the crash of 
worlds, may point with bewQdering scorn of the 
punier efforts of enslaved Europe. .... We 
nope soon to encounter our author among those 
higher walks of literature in which he is evi- 
dently capable of achieving enduring Ikme. 
Already we should be inclined to awign him a 
high position in the bright galaxy of our Atuer' 
icanbarda 



From ike Dekay Bulwark 

We shonld be wanting in our duty as the 
conductor of that tremendous engine, a public 
press, as an American, and as a man, aid we 
allow such an opportunity as is presented to ns 
by "The Biglow Papers** to pass by withont 
entering our earnest protest against such at- 
tempts (now, alas I too common) at derooraliz- 
tng the public sentimeni Under a wretched 
mask of stupid drollery, slavery, war, the so- 
cial glass, snd, in shoit, all the valoable and 
time-honored Inatltutions Justly desr to our 
common humanity and especially to republi- 
cans, are made the butt of coarse and senseless 
ribaldry by this low-minded scribbler. It is 
time tluit Uie respectable and religions portion 
of our community should be aronsed to the 
alarming inroads of foreign Jacobinism, mns- 
Cttlottism, and Infldelitv. It Is a fearfni proof 
of the wide-spresd nature of this contssioo, 
that these secret stahs at religion and vutne 
are given f^m under the cloak (crediie, porteri !) 
of a clergyman. It is a mournfni spect«cle in- 
deed to the patriot and Christian to see liber- 
ality and new Ideas (fklsely so called, •> they 
are ss old as Eden) invading the sacred pre- 
cincts of the pulpii .... 6n the whole, we 
consider this volume ss one of the first shock- I 
ing results which we predicted would spring i 
out of the late French " Revolution " (!> I 



NOTICES OF AN INDEPENDENT PBESS. 



155 



I 



Frm (kt SaiMmr Pilot awi Flag cfFrmiom. 

A rolnme in bad gmninuu' and worae taste. 
. . . . While the pieees here collected were con- 
fined to their appropriate sphere In the corners 
of obscure newspapers, we considered them 
whollr beneath contempt, bat, as the author 
has chosen to come forward in this public 
manner, he most expect the lash he so richly 
merits. .... Contemptible sUinders. .... 
VUest Billingsgate. .... Has raked aU the 
gatters of our ikngnage. .... The most pure, 
QpTlght, and consistent politicians not safe 
ttom his maUgnant venom. .... General Gush- 
ing comes in for a share of his vile calumnies. 

The Revermd Homer Wilbur Is adlsgrace 

to his doth. .... 



I 



Fnm the World-Harmanio-MoUan^AUadimefU. 

8|teech is silver: silenee is golden. No ut- 
terance more Orphic than this. While, there- 
fore, as highest author, we reverence him whose 
worlu ooatinne heroically nnwritton, we have 
alio our ho|iefUl word for those who with pen 
(ftora wing of goose loud-cackling, or seraph 
God-commissioned) record the thing that is re- 
realed. .... Under mask of quaintest irony, 
we deiert here the deep, stonu-tost (nigh ship- 
wracked) soul, thunder-scarred, semF-artica- 
late, but ever climbing hopefully toward the 
peaeeftil »ummite of an Infinite Sorrow. .... 
Tes, thou poor, forlom Hoaea, with Hebrew 
fire-flaming soul in thee, for thee also this life 
of ours has not been without ito aapecte of 
heavenliest pity and langhingest mirth. Con- 
ceivable enough I Through coarse Thersites- 
cloak, we have revelation of the heart, wild- 
dowing, world-clasping, that is in him. Brave- 
ly he nappies with the Hfe-oroblem as it i>re- 
sente Itself to him, nncombea, shsggy, careless 
of the '* nicer proprieties." inexnert of "elegant 
diction," yet with voice audible enough to 
whoso hath ears, up there on the gravelly side- 
hills, or down on tne splashy, indlarubber-like 
salt-nianhes of native Jaalam. To this soul 
also the StetasUy of Creating somewhat has un- 
veiled tte awful front If not (Edipuses and 
Electras and AlcesUses, then in God's name 
Birdofrednm 8a wins ! These also shall get bom 
bito the world, and filch (if so need) a Zingali 
snhsistence therein, these lank, omnivorous 
Tankees of his. He shall paint the Seen, since 
the Unseen will not sit to him. Tet in him 
also are Nibelungen-lays, and Iliads, and Ulys- 
set-wanderings, and Divine Comedies, — if only 
once he could come at them I Therein lies 
mnrh, nay all : for what truly is this which we 
name AU, but that whfeh we do net possess f 
.... Glimpses also are given us of an old 
fiither Ezekiel, not without paternal pride, as 
is the wont of such. A brown, parchmont- 
hided old man of the geoponic or bucolic spe- 
cies, gny-eyed, we fancy, qneuei perhaps, with 
much weather-cunning and plentirtil Septem- 
ber-gale memories, bidding fair iu good time 
to become the Oldest Inhaoitont After such 
hasty apparition, he vanishes and is seen no 
more. .... Of "Rev. Homer Wilbur, A. M., 
Pfestor of the First Church in Jaalam," we have 
small care to speak here. Spare touch in him 
of his Melesigenes namesake, save, haply, the 
—blindness ! A tolerably caliginose, nephe- 



legeretons elderiv gentleman, with Infinite fac- 
ulty of sennonizing. rausoularised by long prac- 
tice, and excellent digestive apparatus, and, for 
the rest, well-meaning enough, and with suiull 

Erivate illuminations (somewhat tallowy, it is 
> be fieared) of his own. To him, there, * * Pastor 
of the First Church in JaaUm," our Hosea pre- 
sente himself as a quite inexplicable Sphmx- 
riddlei A rich poverty of Latin and Greek, — 
so fhr is clear enough, even to eyes peering my- 
opic throuffh hom-lensed editorial spectacles, 
— but naught farther ? O purblind, well-mean- 
ing, altogetlier ftisoous Melesigenes-Wilbur, 
there are things in him incommunicable by 
stroke of birch I Did it ever enter that old be- 
wildered head of thine that there was the Pbs> 
ribUUy of the InJlniU in himr To thee, quite 
win^ess (and even featherless) biped, has not 
so much even as a dream of wings ever come 7 
"Talented young parishioner**? Among the 
Arte whereof thou art MagUter, does that of 
teeing happen to be one? Unhappy ArHuvn 
MagUterf Somehow a Nemean lion, fUvous, 
torrid-eyed, dry-nursed in broad-howling sand- 
wiMemesses of a sufficieiitly rare spirit-Libya 
(it may be supposed) has got whelped among 
the sheep. Already he stands wild-glaring, with 
feet clutching the ground as with oak-rooto, 

Sthering for a Benius-spring over the walls of 
y little fold. In Heaven's name, go not near 
him with tliat flybite crook of thine I In good 
time, thou painfull preacher, thou wilt go to the 
appointed place of departed Artillery-Ele(*tion 
Sermons, Right-Hands of Fellowship, and Re- 
suite of Councils, gathered to thy spiritual 
fathen with much Latin of tlie Epitephial sort ; 
thou, too. Shalt have thv reward: but on him 
the Eumenides have looked, not Xantippes of 
the pit. snake-tressed, finger-threatening, but 
radiantly calm as on antique gems; for him 
paws impatient the winged courser of the gods, 
champing unwelcome bit ; him the starry deeps, 
the empvrean glooms, and Ihr-flashing splen- 
dors await 

Fnm ike Onion Onve Pkomtx. 

A talented young townsman of ours, recently 
ratumed fh>m a Continentel tour, and who is 
already favorably known to our readera by his 
sprightly lettera fh)m abroad which have graced 
our columns, called atour oflice yesterday. We 
learn fh>m him, that, having eiv)oyed the dis- 
tinguished privilege, while m Germany, of an 
introduction to the celebrated Von Humbug, 
he took the opportunity to present that emi- 
nent man with a copy of the " Biglow Pa|»erB." 
The next morning he received the following 
note, which he has kindly ftimished us for 
publication. We prefer to print it verhatlm^ 
knowing that our readers will readily ft»rgive 
the few errora into which the illustrious writer 
has fallen, through ignorance of our hinguage. 

" HIGR-WORTHV MtSTKR t 

" I shall also now esiiecially happy star^'e, 
because I have more or less a work of one those 
aboriginal Rml-Men seen in which have I so 
deaf an interest ever token (Ull-worthy on tlie 
self shelf with our Gotteched to be u{Miet. 

" Pardon my In the English-speech un-prac- 
tlce! 

"VOK HUMBUO." 



156 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



He also sent with the shove note a copy of his 
faiu()us work on " Cosmetics," to he presented 
to Mr. Biglow ; but this was taken from our 
friend by the English custom-house officers, 

Srobably through a petty national spite. No 
oubt, it has by this time found its way into 
the British Museum. We trust this outrage 
will be exposed in all our American papers. 
We shall do our best to bring it to the notice 
of the State Department Our numerous read- 
ers will share in the pleasure we ex()erience at 
seeing our young and vigorous national litera- 
ture tnus encouragingly patted on the head by 
this venerable and world-renowned German. 
We love to see these reciprocations of good- 
feeling between the different branches of the 
great Anglo-Saxon race. 

[The following genuine " notice" having 
met my eye, I gladly insert a portion of it 
here, the more especially as it contains 
one of Mr. Biglow s poems not elsewhere 
printed. — H.W.] 

from the Jaalam Ind$f>endeni Blunderfnui. 

.... But, while we lament to see onr young 
townsman thus mingling in the heated contests 
of party politics, we think we detect in him the 
presence of talents which, if properly directed, 
might give an innocent pleasure to many. As 
a proof that he is competent to the production 
of other kinds of jioetiV, we copy for our read- 
ers a short fragment of a pastoral by him. the 
manuscript of which was loaned us by a fhend. 
The title of it is " The Courtin*. " 

Zkkle crep' np, quite unbeknown, 

An' peeked in tnru the winder, 
An' there sot Huldy all alone, 

'ith no one nigh to hender. 

Agin' the chimbly crooknecks hang, 

An' in amongst 'em rasted 
The ole queen's-arro thet gran'ther Young 

Fetched back fVnm Concord busted. 

The wannnt logs shot sparkles ont 
Towards the pooUest, bless her ! 



An' leetle flres danced all about 
The chiny on the dresser. 

The very room, cos she wux in, 
Looked warm fhim floor to reilin*, 

An' she looked full ez rosy agin 
Ez th' apples she wuz peelin'. 

She heerd a foot an' knowed it, ta, 

Araspin' on the scra^ter, — 
All ways to once her feclins flew 

Like sparks in bumt-up paper. 

He kin' o' I'itered on the mat. 
Some doubtlle o' the seekle ; 

His heart kep' goin' pityiiat. 
But hem went pity Zekle. 

An' yet ahe gin her cheer a jerk 
Es though she wished him furder 

An' on her apples kep' to work 
Ez ef a wager spurred her. 

" Ton want to see my Pa, I spose?" 
" Wal, no ; I come designin' — " 

" To see my Ma r She 's sprinklin' cki'M 
Agin to-morrow's i'nin'.*' 

He stood a spell on one foot ftist 
Then stood a spell on tother, 

An' on which one he felt the wust 
He could n't ha' told ye, nuther. 

Bez he, " I 'd better call agin " : 
Sez she. *' Think likelyrJfMer" : 

The last word pricked him like a pin. 
An'— wal, he up and kist her. 

When Ma bimeby upon 'em slips, 

Huldy sot pale ez ashes. 
All kind o' smily round the lips 

An' teary round the lashes. 

Her blood ris quick, though. like the tidt 

Down to the Bay o' Fimdy, 
An' all I know is they wuz cried 

In meetln', come nez Sunday. 



Satis multis sese emptores ftitnros libri 
professis, Oeorgius Nichols, Cantabrigien- 
sis, opus emittet de parte graW sed adhuc 
neglecta hiHtorife naturalis, cum titulo 
sequenti, videlicet : 

Canatus ad Delineationem naturaJtm 
nonnihil per/ectiorem Scarabcci BonihUa- 
toriSf wdgo dicti Humbug, ab Romero 
Wilbur, Artium Magistro, Societatis 
historico-natnralis Jaalamensis Prseside 
(Secretario, Socioque (ebeu !) singulo), 
multarumque aliarum Societatum enidi- 
tanim (sive ineruditanini) tani domesti- 
caruni quam transmarinarum Socio — for- 
sitan futuro. 



PROEMIUM. 

Lectori Beneyolo S. 

Toga Bcholastica nondnm deposita. qnnm 
syatemata varia entomologica, a viri« ems 
seientis cnltoribns stndiosissimis snmnis 
diligentia sedificata, penitus indagaxsem, 
non fuit auin luctuose omnibus in \\^ 
quamvis aliter laude dignissiniis, hiatum 
magni momenti perciperem. Tunc, nebcin 
quo motu superiore im pulsus, aut qna 
captus dulcedme operis, ad eum implf"- 
dum (Curtius alter) me solemniter devovL 
Nee ab isto labore, &ufu»ruiK imposito, ab- 
stinui antequam tractatulum suificient«r 
inconcinnum lingua vemacula perfeoerani. 
Inde, juveniliter tumefactus, et banthro 



•} < 



: f 



•1 >» 



♦1' 



> I 



i ■ . ■ 



It. 



:'. • ii 



] 



r 



L Ai,ON«." — P«je 136- 




THr: ^EW YORK 

rU?...iC LIBRARY 



OP., LEN^^X 



^ -' — -- 



i 



NOTICES OF AN INDEPENDENT PRESS. 



157 



ineptise rwr fhfiXvowmAmr (necnon " Public! 
Legentis") nusquain explorato, me com- 
poftuisse ^uocl (luasi placentas pnefervidas 
(Qt sic dicani) homitiea ingurgitarent cre- 
ditli. Sed, quuni huic et alio bibliopole 
MSS. mea subniisissem et nihil solidius 
responfdone vakle negativa in Mnsseum 
meum retulissein, horror ingens atque 
niMiricoTilia, ob crassitudinem Lamber- 
tianam in cerebris homunculonim istius 
mnneris copleati quadam ira inflxam, me 
inrasere. Exteniplo mei solius inip^nsis 
libmm etlere decrevi, nihil omnino du- 
bitans quiu " Mnndiis Scieutificus " (ut 
ainnt; cnimenam meam anipliter rc.pleret. 
Naliam, attanien, ex agro illo meo parvulo 
segetem denieMKui, pnetergaudium vacuum 
bene de Republica merendi. Iste panis 
mens pretiosos super aquas literarias rscu- 
lentas pnettdenter jactns, quasi Harpyi- 
amm ({uaruudam (scilicet bibliopolarum 
istoruni facinorosonim supradictorum) tac- 
tu rancidns, intra perpaucos dies mihi 
domnm rediit. Et, quuni ipse tali victu 
ali non tolerarem, primum iu mentem 
venit pistori (typographo nempe) nihilo- 
minus solvendum esse. Aninium non id- 
eirco deniisi, iiiio eque ac pueri naviculas 
snas penes se lino retinent (eo ut e recto 
enrsu delupsas ad ripam retrahant), sic 
ego Ai:g6 meam chartaceam fluctibus la- 
horantem a quaesitu velleris aurei, ipse 

gotins tousus pelleqne exutiis, mente so- 
da revocavi. Metnphoram ut mntem, 
boomarangam meam a scopo a1)errantem 
letraxi, dum majore vi, occasione minis- 
trante, adversus Fovtunam intorqnerem. 
Ast mihi, talia volventi, et. sicut Satumns 
ille vu&i^dpof, liberos intellectus mei de- 
pascere fidenti, casus miseraudus, nee an- 
tea inauditus, 8uper\'enit. Nam, ut ferunt 
Scythas pietatis causa et parsimonise, pa- 
rentes 8U0S mortuos devorasse, sic Alius nic 
mens priroogenitus, Scythis ipsis minus 
mansnetuR, patrem vivuin totum et cal- 
citranteni exsorbere enixns est. Nee ta- 
men hac tie causa sobolem meam esurien- 
tem exheretlavi. Sed famem istam pro 
yalido tc(«tinionio virilitatls roborisque 
potius habui, cibnmque ad earn satiandam, 
salva patema mea came, petii. Et quia 
bilem illom scnturientem aa ss etiam con- 
coquendum idoneam esse estimabam, unde 
ses alienuni^ ut minoris pretii, ha1)erem, 
circuin«j)exi. Rebus ita se habentibus, 
ab avuncnlo meo Johanne Doolittle, Ar- 
niigero, impetravi ut pecunias necessarias 
suppeditaret, ne opus esset mihi universi- 
tatem relinquendi antequam ad gradum 
primnm in artibus pervenissem. Tunc ego, 
salvnm facere patronnm meum munificum 
niaxime cnpiens, omnos libros primaB edi- 
tionis o{)ens mei non venditos una cum 



privilegio in omne evum ejusdem impri- 
mendi et edendi avuncnlo meo dicto pig- 
neravi. Ex illo die, atro lapide notando, 
cure vociferantes familie singulis annis 
cresoentis eo usque insultabant ut nun- 
quam tarn carum pignus e vineulis istis 
aheneis solvere possem. 

Avunculo vero nuper mortuo, quum 
inter alios consanguineos testament i ejus 
lectionem andiendi causa advenissem, erec- 
tis auribus verba talia sequentia accept : 
— " Quoniam persnasum habeo meum di- 
lectum nepotem Homerum, longa et inti- 
ma rerum angustarum domi experienliji, 
aptissimum esse qui divitias tueatur, bene- 
ficenterque ac prudenter iis divinis credi- 
tis utatur, — ei^o, motus hisce cogitatio- 
nibus, exque amore meo in ilium magno, 
do, legoque nepoti caro meo suprauomina- 
to omnes singularesque istas possessioiies 
nee ponderabiles nee computabiles meas 
que seouuntur, scilicet : quingentos libros 
quos mihi pigneravit dictns Homerus, anno 
lucis 1792, cum privilegio edendi et repe- 
tendi opus istud ' scientificum * (quod di- 
cunt) suum, si sic elegerit. Tamen D. 0. 
M. precor oculos Homeri nepotis mei ita 
aj^ieriat eumque moveat, ut libros istos in 
bibliotheca unius e plurimis castellis suis 
Hispauiensibus tuto abscondat." 

Ilis verbis <vix credibilibus) auditis, 
cor meum in pectore exsultavit. Deinde, 
quoniam tractatus Anglice scriptus spem 
auctoris fefellerat, quippe quum studiuni 
Historie Naturalis in Republica nontra 
inter factionis strepitum langucscat, La- 
tine versum edere statui. et eo potius quia 
nescio quomodo disciplina academics et 
duo diplomata proficiant, nisi quod peritos 
linguarum omnino mortuarum (et dam- 
nandarum, ut dicebat iste vavovpyof Guli- 
elmus Cobbett) nos faciant. 

Et mihi adhuc superstes est tota ilia 
editio prima, quam quasi crepitacnlum 
per quoddentes caninos dentibam retineo. 



0PERI8 SPECIMEN. 

(Ad exemplum Johanni* Physiophili tpectmiuit 
MonacholoffifK) 

12. 8. B. MilitarU, WiLBra. Cnmi/ex, Ja- 
BLONSK. Pro/anvg, Dehfokt. 

[Male hancce speciem Cydopem Fabrichw vo- 
cat, ut qui singulo oculo ad quod sui interest 
distingiiitur. Melius vero Isaacus Outis nrl- 
lum iDter S. milit 8. cue Belzebul (Fabric. 
152) diaerlmen esse defendit] 

Habitat civitat Americ. austrsL 

Anreis lineis splendidus ; plerumque tanien 
sordidus, utpote Linienas valde n^pientanM, 
rcrtore saaguinis allertus. Ainat qunqtic insu- 
per septa apricari. neque inde. nisi maxima 
conatione detruditnr. Ckindidatua ergo prijni- 
lariter vocatus. Caput cristam quasi peuua- 



I 



158 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



ram oitendli. Pro elbo vaoeam pabllcam cal- 
lide malget ; abdomen enomM ; fkculUi Buctus 
baud fiidle eatimanda. Otiosos, Catuoa ; ferox 
nihiloniinus, semperqua dlmicare paratua. 
Tortuoaa repit 

Capita Mepe maxima com earn diMeeto, na 
illud radiroeutum atiam cerebri commune om- 
nibus prope inaectla detegere poteram. 

Unam de hoc & milit rem singularera notavi; 
nam a Quineena. (Fabric. 148) nervoa fku^lt. et 
Idclrco a multis summa in reverentia habitoa, 
quaai ■cintUlaa raUoni* pMoe bonuutfb dem<m> 
atiani. 



S4. & & CriHeua, Wilktb. Zoihu, Famk. i 
Pygminu, Ca&lbbh. 

[StalUnime J ohannea Stryx com & pimctito 1 
(Fabric 64-109) confUudit Hpecimium qtiiu- > 
piuiima ■CTUtationi microacopicai suL^jeci. oim- ' 
qtiain tamen unum ulla indicia poncU cHJusvii 
prorsua oetendentem InvenL] | 

Pracipue formldoloaaa, inaectataaqne. is 
pruxlma rima anonyma aeaa abacondit. we, we. 
creberrime atridene. Ineptus, segiiipea 

Habitat ubique gentium : in sicco ; niima 
•unni terebratioue indafeaaa ndificaua. CibiUi 
Libroa depaacit : aiocoa pxwcipue. 



MELIBCEUS-HIPPONAX. 

I 

THE 
EDITED, 

I 

WITH AN INTRODUCTION. NOTES, GLOSSARY, AND , 

; COPIOUS INDEX, 

BY 



HOMER WILBUR, A. M., 

PASTOB OP THB PISST CHUKCH IN JAALAM, AND (pKOSPECTIVB) MBMBBX OP MANY 
UTBKASY* LEARNED, AND SaSNTIPIC flOaBTUS, 

[/or which mm ^agt 173.) 

The plooghnan'f whistle, or the trhrial flntet 
Finds more respect than peat Apollo's late. 

Qitarte*** EmUtmM, a iL B. 8. 

1 

1 Manaritas, nnnde pofcine, caldUti : en, sfliquas acdpe. 

yac. Car, Fil ad Pnb. Ltir, % X, 



NOTE TO TITLE-PAGE. 



It wfll not have escaped the attentive 
, eve, that I have, ou the title-page, omitted 
i those honorary appendages to uie editorial 
name which not onlv add greatlv to the 
■ value of every book, but whet and exacer- 
bate the appetite of the reader. For not 
only does be surmise that an honorary 
membership of literary and scientific so- 
cieties implies a certain amount of neces- 
sary distinction on the part of the recipient 
of such decorations, but he is willing to 
trust liimself more entirely to an author 
who writes under the fearful responsibility 
- of involving the reputation of such bodies 
' as the S. Archavi. IJahom. or the Acad. 
Lit. et Scient. KaintsehaL I cannot but 
, think that the early editions of Shake- 
I speare and Milton would have met with 
more rapid and general acceptance, but for 
, the barrenness of their respective title- 
pages ; and I believe that, even now, a 
j)ubli8her of the works of either of those 
justly distinguished men would find his 
account in Drocuring their admission to 
the membersnip of learned bodies on the 
Continent, — a proceetling no whit more 
: incongruous than the reversal of the judg- 
nient against Socrates, when he was al- 
! ready more than twenty centuries beyond 

• the reach of antidotes, and when his mem- 
ory ha<l acquired a deserved respectability. 

' I conceive that it was a feeling of the im- 
i portance of this precaution which induced 
Mr. Locke to style himself *• Gent.** on 
the title-page of his Esmy, as who should 
say to his rea<lers that they could receive 
his metaphysics on the honor of a gentle- 
man. 

Nevertheless, finding that, without de- 
scending to a snialler size of type than 
would have l>een compatible with the dig- 
nity of the several societies to be named, 
I could not compress my intended list 

* wit)) in the limits of a single page, and 
tliinking. moreover, that tlie act would 
carry with it an air of decorous modesty, 
I have chofu^n to take the reader aside, as 
it were, into my private closet, and there 



not only exhibit to him the diplomts 
which I already possess, but also to fur- 
nish him with a prophetic vision of those 
which I may, without undue presumption, 
hope for, as not beyond the reach of hu- 
man ambition and attainment And 1 am 
the rather induced to this from the fact 
that mv name has been nnaccountably 
dropped, from the last triennial cataloffne 
of our beloved Altna Mater. Whether 
this is to be attributed to the difficulty of 
Latiniiing anv of thase houorarj' adiuncti 
(with a complete list of which I took can 
to funiish the proper persons nearly a 
year beforehand), or whether it had it* 
origin in any more culpable motives, i 
forbear to consider in this place, the mat- 
ter lieing in course of painful inrestiga- 
tioD. But, however this may be, I felt 
the omission the more keenly, as I had, in 
expectation of the new catalogue, eiiridiAl 
the library of the Jaalam Atben&'um with 
the old one then in my possession, hy 
which means it has come about that my 
children will be deprived of a never-weary- 
ing winter-evening s amusement in looking 
out the name of their parent in that dis- 
tinguished roll. Tlioee harmless inno- 
cents had at least committed no hut 

I forbear, having intrusted my reflections 
and animadversions on this painful topic 
to the safe-keeping of my private diary, 
intended for posthumous publication. I 
state this fact here, in order that certain 
nameless individuals, who are, perhaps 
overmuch congratulating themselves upon 
my silence, may know that a rod is in 

f)ickle which the vigorous hami of a justly 
ncensed posterity will apply to their 
memories. 

The careful reader will note that, in 
the list which I have prepared, I bare 
included the names of several Cisatlantic 
societies to which a place is not commonly 
assigned in processions of this nature. 1 
have ventured to do this, not only to en- 
courage native ambition and genius, but 
also because I have never bmn aUe to 



r 



NOTE TO TITLE-PAGE. 



161 



perceive in what way distance (unless we 
suppose them at the end of a lever) could 
increase the weight of learned bodies. As 
far as I have heen able to extend my re- 
searches among such stuffed specimens as 
occasionally reach America, I have dis- 
covered no generic difference between the 
antipodal Fogrum Japonicum and the F. 
Americanum sufficiently common in our 
own immediate neighborhood. Yet, with 
a becoming deference to the popular be- 
lief that distinctions of this sort are en- 
hanced in value by every additional mile 
they travel, I have intermixed the names 
of some tolerably distant literary and oth- 
er associations with the rest. 

I add here, also, an advertisement, 
which, that it may be the more readily 
understood by those persons especially 
interested therein, I have written in that 
curtailed and otherwise maltreated canine 
Latin, to the writing and reading of which 
they are accustomed. 

OicfiB. PER TOT. Orb. Terrar. 
Cataloo. Academ. Edd. 

Minim, gent, diplom. ab inclytiss. acad. 
Test, orans, vir. nonorand. operosiss., at 
sol. ut sciat. quant, glor. nom. meum 
(dipl. fort, coiicess.) catal. vest. temp. 
fntnr. affer., ill. snbjec, addit. omnio. 
tttnl. honorar. qu. iiah. non tant. opt 
quam probab. put. 

*«* LUL Uncial, distinx. ut Proes, 3, 
HiaL If at. Jaal. 



HOMRRUS WILBUR, Mt., Episc. 
Jaalani, S. T. D. 1850, et Yal. 1849, et 
Neo-Cses. et Bnm. et Gulielm. 1852, et 
Gul. et Mar. et Bowd. et Geoi^iop. et 
Viridimont. et Columb. Nov. Ebor. 1853, 
et Amherst, et Watervill. et S. Jarlath. 
Hib. et S. Mar. et S. Joseph, et S. And. 
Scot. 1854, et Nashvill. et Dart et Dickins. 
et ConcoitL et Wash, et Coliunbian. et 
Chariest et Jeff, et Dubl. et Oxon. et 
Cantab, et Cset 1855, P. U. N. C. H. et 
J. U. D. Gott et Osnab. et Heidelb. 1860, 
et Acad. Bore us. Berolin. Soc., et SS. 
RR. Lugd. Bat. et Patav. et Lond. et 
Edinb. et Ins. Feejee. et Null. Terr, et 
Pekin. Soc. Hon. et S. H. S. et S. P. A. 
et A. A. S. et 3. Hnmb. Univ. et S. Omn. 
Rer. Quarund. a. Aliar. Promov. Passa- 
maquod. et H. r. C. et I. 0. H. et a. a. 
«. et II. K. P. et «^ B. K. et Peucin. et 
Erosoph. et Philadelph. et Frat. in Unit, 
et 2. T. et S. Archfeolog. Athen. et Acad. 
Sclent et Lit. Panorm. et SS. R. H. 
Matrit et Beeloochist. et Caffrar. et Caribb. 
et M. S. Reg. Paris, et S. Am. Antiserv. 
Soc. Hon. et P. D. Gott. et LL. D. 1852, 
et D. C. L. et Mus. Doc. Oxon. 1860, et 
M. M. S. S. et M. D. 1854, et Med. Fac 
Univ. Harv. Soc. et S. pro Convers. Polly- 
wog. Soc. Hon. et Hlggl. Piggl. et LL. B. 
1853, et S. pro Christianiz. Moschet. Soc. 
et S3. Ante-Diluv. ubiq. Gent. Soc. Hon. 
et Civit Cleric. Jaalam. et 3. pro Diffus. 
GeneraL Tenebr. Secret Corr. 



...J 



INTRODUCTION. 



WHE!r, more than three yean afro, 1117 
talented yoang parishioner, Mr. Billow, 
came to me and submitted to my animad- 
versions the first of his poems which he 
intended to commit to the more hazardous 
trial of a city newspaper, it never ko much 
as entered my imagination to conceii'e that 
}iis pnxinctions would ever be ^hered 
into a fair volume, and ushered into the 
august presence of the reading public by 
myself. So little are we short-sighted 
mortals able to predict the event ! I con- 
fess that there is to me a tiuite new satis- 
faction in being associated (though only 
as sleeping partner) in a book which can 
stand by it^Hflf in an independent unity on 
the shelves of libraries. For there is always 
this drawback from the pleasure of print- 
ing a sermon, that, whereas the queasy 
stomach of this generation will not l)ear 
a dLsconrse long enough to make a sepa- 
rate volume, those religious and godly- 
minded children (those Samuels, if 1 may 
call them so) of the brain must at first lie 
buried in an undistinguisheri heap, and 
then get such resurrection as is vouchsafed 
to them, mummy-wrapped with a score 
of others in a cheap binding, with no other 
mark of distinction than the wortl " Mis- 
efUaMous" printed upon the back. Far 
be it from me to claim any credit for the 
quite unexpected popularity which I am 
pleased to find these bucolic strains have 
attained unto. If I know myself, I am 
measurably free from the itch of vanity ; 
yet I may be allowed to say that I was 
not backwnnl to recognize in them a cer- 
tain wild, pucker>', acidulous (sometimes 
even verging tow.inl that point which, in 
our rustic phrase, is temie<i shut-eye) 
flavor, not wholly unpleasing, nor un- 
wholesome, to palates cloye<T with the 
sugariness of tamed antl cultivatetl fruit. 
It may be, also, that some touches of my 
own, here and there, may have let\ to their 
wider acceptance, albeit solely from my 
larger experience of literature and author- 
ship.* 



I was, at first, inclined to discourage Mr. 
Biglow's attempts, as knowing that the 
desire to poetize is one of the disesb^es 
naturally incident to adolescence, which. 
if the fitting remedies be not at onee atid 
with a bold hand applied, may become 
chronic, and render one, who might cl»e 
have become in due time an omanteut ff 
the social circle, a painful object even to 
nearest friends and relatives. But thiuk- 
ing, on a further experience, that there 
was a germ of promise in him which re- 
quired only culture and the pullin;; up of 
weeds from around it, I thought it lK«t to 
set before him the acknowleilgetl examples 
of English composition in verse, and leave 
the rest to natural emulation . With tht« 
view, I aoconUngl V lent him some xTklumes 
of Pope and Ooldsmith, to the assiduous 
study of which he promised to devote his 
evenings. Not long afterward, he broncht 
me some verses written upon that moiiel, 
a specimen of which I subjoin, having 
changed some phrases of less elegancy, 
and a few rhymes objectionable to the cul- 
tivated ear. The poem consisted or child- 
ish reminiscences, and the sketches wl.ich 
follow will not seem destitute of truth lo 
those whose fortunate education began in 
a country village. And, first, lei us hai g 
up his charcoal portrait of the school- 
dame. 

" Propped on the marsh, a dwelling now, I we 
The humble achool-hduse of ray A. B. C 
Where well-drilled urchins, each behiutl his 

tire, 
Waited in ranks the wished romiiiand to fire, 
Tlien ail together, when the signal eaiite. 
Discharged their a-b abs against the daiue. 
Daughter of Danans, who could daily \**mt 
In treacherous nipkins her Pierian store. 
She, mid the volleyed lesming llnii ami ralin. 
Patted the ftirloughe*! fenile oi» her pihii. 
And, to our wonder, could divine at onre 
Who flashed the pan, and who was downright 

dunce. 

'* There young Devotion learned to climb with 
ease 
The gnarly limbs of Scripture family-trees. 
And ne was most commended and admired 



* The reader curious in such matters may 1 Discourse on the Late Eclipse," " Dorras, a 



reTer (iT he can And them) to "A sermon 

Iireache<l on the Annivenwiry of the Dark 
)ay," "An Artillery ElecUon Sermon," "A 



Funeral Sennon on the Death of Madam Su]>- 
mit Tidd, Relict of the late Exiteriencc TiUd. 
Esq.," &c., Ac. 



KTKODDCTION. 



163 



Wbo tooneet to th« toproo«t twig p«nplred : 
Bach naine was t'all«9cl iw many variuua ways 
Aji pkaaed tlie rmder'a ear on diflerent days, 
80 that the weather, or the ferule'it utiuga, 
Culds in the head, or fifty other things, 
TnLnsformed the helpleaa Hebrew tJirice a 

week 
To guttural Pequot or reaoimding Greek, 
The vibrant accent skipping here and there. 
Just as it pleased invention or despair : 
No controversial Hebraist was the Daine : 
With or without the points pleased her the 

same ; 
If any tyro fonnd a name too tongh. 
And looked at her, pride fUmisned skill 

enough; 
She nerved her larynx for the desperate thing. 
And cleared the five-t]«rred syllables at a 

spring. 

*'Ah, dear old tboea I there once it was my 

hap, 
Fteched on a stool, to wear the long-eared 

cap; 
"From boolu degraded, there I sat at ease, 
A drone, the envy of conniulsory bees : 
Rewards of merit, too, fiul many a time. 
Each with its woodcut and its moral rhyme, 
And pierced half-dollars hung on ribbons gay 
About my neck — to be restored next day, 
I carried home, rewards as shining then 
As those which deck the lifelong pains of men. 
More solid than the redemaiided praise 
With which the world berlbbons later days. 

" Ah, dear old times ! how brightly ye return ! 
Uow, rubbed aflnesh, your phosphor traces 

bum I 
The ramble schoolward through dewspark- 

ling meads 
The willow-wands turned CindereUa steeda 
The impromptu pinbeut hook, the deep re* 

morse 
O'er the chance-captured minuow's inchlong 

corse; 
The pockets, plethoric with marbles round. 
That still a space for ball and pegtop found. 
Nor satiate yet, could manage to confine 
Horsechestnuta, flagroot, and the kite's 

wound twine, 
And, like the prophet's carpet could take in. 
Enlarging still, the ]>opgun s magazine ; 
The dinner carried in the small tin pail. 
Shared with some dog, whose most beseech- 
ing tail 
And dripping tongue and eager ears belied 
The assumed indifference of canine pride ; 
The caper homeward, shortened if tne cart 
Of Neighbor Pomeruy, truixdling from the 

mart, 
O'ertook me, — then, translated to the seat 
I praised the steed, how stanch he was and 

fleet. 
While the blaflT farmer, with snperior grin, 
Explained where horses should be thick, 

where thin. 
And warned me (jolie he always had in Rtnre) 
To shun a beast that four white stockings 

wore. 
What a fine natural courtesy was his ! 
His nod was pleasure, and his full bow bliss ; 
How did his well-thumbed hat, with ardor 

rapt. 
Its curve decoroua to each rank adapt ! 



How did it graduate with a courtly ease 
The whole long scale of social dift'ereuces. 
Yet so gave eocii his measure ruuniu:, o'er. 
None tliought his own was less, his n«iglil>ur's 

more; 
The M^uire was flattered, and the pauper knew 
Old times acknowledged 'neatli tlie tit read- 
bare blue I 
Dropped at the comer of the embowered lane, 
Whistling I wade the knee-deep leaveo airain. 
While eager Aivus, who has missed all day 
The sharer of his condescending play, 
ConieK leaping onward with a bark elate 
And boiMterous tail to greet me at the gate ; 
That I was tnie in absence to our li>ve 
Let the thick dog's-ean in my )>rimer )>rove." 

I add only one further extract, which 
will po88«K8 a melancholy interest to ail 
such as have endeavored to glean the ma- 
terials of revolutionary history from the 
lips of aged persons, who took a part in 
the actual making of it, and, finding the 
manufacture profitable, contiiiue<l the sup- 
ply in an adequate proportion to the de- 
mand. 

" Old Joe is gone, who saw hot Percy goad 
His slow artillery up the Conconl road, 
A tale which grew in wonder, year by year. 
As, every time he told it, Joe drew near 
To the main fight, till, fhded and grown gray, 
The original scene to bolder tints gave way ; 
Then Joe had heard the foe's scared doulile- 

quick 
Beat on stove drum with one uncaptured 

stick. 
And, ere death came the lengthening tale to 

lop. 
Himself had fired, and seen a red-coat <1rop ; 
Had Joe lived long enougli, that scrambling 

fight 
Had squared more nearly with his sense of 

right. 
And vanquished Percy, to coni]i1ete the tale. 
Had hammered stone for life in Concord jail." 

I do not know that the foregoing ex- 
tracts ought not to he called my o\m 
rather than Mr. Biglow's, as, indeed, he 
maintained stoutly that my file hod left 
nothing of his in them. I should not, 
perhaps, have felt entitled to take so great 
liberties with them, harl I not more than 
suspected an hereditary vein of poetry in 
myself, a very near ancestor having writ- 
ten a Latin poem in the Harvard Oratala- 
tio on the accession of George the Thini. 
Suffice it to say, that, whether not satis- 
fied with such limited approbation as I 
could conscientiously bestow, or from a 
sense of natural inaptitude, certain it is 
that my young friend could never be in- 
duced to any further essays in thii: kind. 
He affirmed that it was to him like writ- 
ing in a foreign tongue, — that Mr. I^ope's 
versification was like the regular ticking 
of one of Willard's clocks, in wliich one 
could fancy, after long listening, a certain 



1 



164 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



kind of rhythm or tune, but which yet 
was only a poverty-stricken tickf tick, af- 
ter all, — and that he hail never seen a 
Bweet-water on a trellis growing so fairly, 
or in forms so pleasing to his eye, as a fox- 
grai>e over a scnib-oak in a swamp. He 
OLicled I know not what, to the effect that 
the sweet- water would only be the more 
disfi^ired by having its leaves starched 
and ironed out, and that Pegasus (so he 
called him) hardly looked right with his 
mane and tail in curl-pupers. These and 
other such opinions I did not long strive 
to eradicate, attributing them rather to a 
defective education and senses untuned by 
too long familiarity with purely natural ob- 
jects, than to a perverted moral sense. I 
was the more inclined to this leniency since 
sufficient evidence was not to seek, that 
his verses, as wanting as they certainly 
were in classic polish and point, hacl some- 
how taken hold of the public ear in a sur- 
prising manner. So, only setting him right 
as to the a uantity of the proper name Pega- 
sus, I left him to follow the bent of his nat- 
ural genius. 

Yet could I not surrender him wholly 
to the tutelage of the pagan (which, lit- 
erally interpreted, signiries village) muse 
without yet a further effort for his conver- 
sion, and to this end I resolved that what- 
ever of poetic fire yet bunied in myself, 
aided by the assiduous bellows of correct 
models,*shoidd be put in requisition. Ac- 
conlingly, when my ingenious young par- 
ishioner brought to my study a coi)y of 
verses which he had written touching the 
acquisition of territory resulting from the 
Mexican war, and the folly or leaving the 
question of slavery or freedom to the ad- 
judication of chance, I did myself indite 
a short fable or a^K)logue after the man- 
ner of Gay and Prior, to the end that he 
might see how easily even such subjects 
as lie treated of were capable of a more 
refinefl style and more elegant expression. 
Mr. Biglow's production was as follows :— 

THE TWO GUNNER& 

A FABLE. 

Two fellers, Isrel named and Joe, 
One Sundy monitn' 'gi-eed to go 
Aguiinin' soon'z the bells wuz done 
And ineetin' finally begun, 
S«)'8t nn one would n't be about 
Ther Sabbath-break in' to spy out 

Joe did n't want to go a mite ; 

He felt ez though 't wamt skeerecly right, 

But, when his doubts he went to speak on, 

l«rel he up and oilled him Deacon, 

An' kep' ai>okiti' fun like sin 

An* then arubbin' on It In. 

Till Joe, less skeered o' doln' wrong 

Than beiii' laughed at, went along. 



Past noontime they went trampin' romid 

An' nary thing to iM>p at found, 

Till, fkirly tired o' their 8)»ree. 

They leaned their guns aj[,'iu a tree. 

An' jest ez they wuz scttin' down 

To take their noonin', Joe looked roun' 

And see (acrost lots in a ]>ond 

That wam't nior 'n twenty rod beyond), 

A goose that on the water sot 

Ez ef awaitin' to be shot. 

Isrel he uits and grabs his gun ; 

Sez he, " By ginger, here 'n some tan ! " 

•* Don't fire," sez Joe, " it aint no use, 

Thet 's Deacon Peleg'a tame wil'-goose " : 

8evs Isrel, " I don't care a cent. 

I 've sighted an' I '11 let her went " ; 

Bang ! went queen's-arui, ole gander flopped 

His wings a s^iell. an' quorked, an' dropped. 

8ez Joe, " I would n't ha' been hired 
At that poor critter to ha' tired, 
But sence it 's clean gin up the ghost. 
We 'II hev the Ullest kind o' roa^t : 
I guess our waistbands 'U be tight 
'Fore it comes ten o'clock temight" 

" I won't agree to no such bender," 
Sez Isrel ; " keep it tell it 's tender : 
T alut wuth a snap afore it 's ripe." 
Sez Joe, " I 'd jest ez lives eat triiw ; 
You atr a buster ter sui^pocie 
I 'd eat what makes me hoi' my nose t " 

So they disputed to an' tto 
Till cunnin Isrel sez to Joe, 
" Don't le's stay here an' play the fool, 
I^ 's wait till both on us git cool. 
Jest for a day or two le's hide it 
An' then toss up an' so decide it" 
" Agreed I " sez Joe, an' so they did, 
An' the ole goose wuz safely hid. 

Now *t wuz the hottest kind o' weather. 
An' when at last they come tc^ether. 
It did n't signify which won, 
Fer all the mischief hed been done : 
The goose wuz there, but. fer his soul. 
Joe would n't ha* tet<.'hed it with a pole ; 
But Isrel kind o' liked the smell on 't 
An' made hi» dinner very well on 't 

My own humble attempt was in manner 
and form following, and I print it here, I 
sincerely tnist, out of no vainglory, but 
solely with the hope of doing good. 



LEAVTNO THE MATTER OPEN. 

A TALK. 
BY HOMER WIU17B, A. M. 

Two brothers once, an Ill-matched pair, 
T<»gether dwelt (no matter where). 
To whom an Uncle Sam, or some one. 
Had left a house ami farm in comraoa 
The two In principles and Iiabits 
Wore difTeivnt as rats trom rabbits ; 
Stout Farmer North, with fhigal care, 
\jmA up ]>n>v{sion for his heir. 
Not scorning with hard sun-browned hands 
To scrape acquaintance with his lands ; 



<-. - - 



INTBODUCTION. 



165 



1 



Whatever thing he had to do 
He did. and made it pay him, too ; 
He suld his wa^te stone hy the iiound. 
Hi» drama made water-wbeelii spin ruund. 
His ice in aumnter-tiiue he sold. 
His wood brought profit when "t was cold. 
He dag and delved fh>m mom till night, 
Strove to make profit Bquare with right. 
Lived on his means, cut no great dash, 
And paid his debts in honest cash. 

On iother hand, his brother South 

Lived very much from hand to mouth. 

Flayed gentleman, nursed dainty hands. 

Borrowed North's money on his lands. 

And culled his morals and his graces 

From c(tck-pits. bar-rooms, flehts, and races ; 

His sole work in the fanning line 

Was keeping droves of long-legged serine. 

Which brought great bothers and expenses 

To North in looking after fences. 

And. when they hapiwned to break through, 

Cont him both time and tem)>er too, 

For 8out]i insistefl it was plain 

He ooKht to drive them home again, 

And North consented to the work 

Because be loved to buy cheap pork. 

Iffeanwhile, South's swine increasing flut. 
His farm liecame too small at last : 
So. having thought the matter over. 
And feeling bound to live in clover 
And never pay the clover's worth. 
He aaid one day to Brother North : — 

" Oiir families are both increasing. 
And. though we labor without ceasing, 
C>txr produce soon will be too scant 
To keep onr children out of want ; 
They who wish fortune to be lasting 
Mast be Imth prudent aud forecasting; 
We soon shall need more hind ; a lot 
I know, that eheaplv can be bo't : 
Toil lend the cash. 1 11 buy the acres. 
And we '11 be equally partaken." 

PortT Xorth, whose Anglo-3axon blootl 
Gave him a hankering after mud. 
Wavered a moment, then consented. 
And. when the cash was paid, repented ; 
To naake the new land worth a )iin. 
Thought lie, it nins1» l>e all fenced in. 
For, if South's swine on<'e get the run on 't 
No kinil of fanning can be done on 't ; 
If that don't suitohe oUier side, 
T ia betit we instantly divide. 

Bnt noniehow South could ne'er incline 
Thl« way or that to run the line, 
An*l always found some new )iretence 
Xyainst. setting the division fence ; 
At last he said: — 

" For peace's sake, 
Liljeral concessions I will make ; 
Thodgh I Iwlieve, upon my soul. 
I 've a jiist title to the whole. 
1 ni make an offer which I call 
Gen'rons. — we 11 have no fence at all ; 
Tlien both of us. whene'er we choose, 
Can take what i»art w« want U> use ; 
If you should chance to need it first. 
Pick you the best, I '11 take the worst" 



" Agreed I" cried North : thought he, This fall 
With wheat and rve I II sow it all ; 
In tiiat way 1 oiiail get the start. 
And South may whistle for his iwrt 
So thought, so done, the field was sown. 
And, winter having come and gone. 
Sly North walked bUthely forth to spy. 
The progress of his wheat and rye : 
Heavens, what a sight ! his brother's swine 
Had asked themselves all out to dine ; 
Such gnintlng. munching, rooting, shoving. 
The suil seemed all alive and moving. 
As fbr his grain, such work they 'd made on 't. 
He could n't spy a single blade on 't 

Off in a rage he rushed to South. 

'* My wheat and rye " — grief choked his 

mouth ; 
'"* Pray don't mind me." said South. *' but plant 
All of the new land that you want " ; 
" ifes, but your hogs," cried North : 

" The grain 
Won't hurt them." answered SouUi again : 
" But they destroy my crop " ; 

"No doubt; 
T is fortunate you 've found it out ; 
Misfortunes teach, and only they. 
You njust not sow it in their way " ; 
"Nay, you," says North, "must keep them 

out " ; 
'* Did I create them with a snout? " 
Asked South demurely ; " as agreed, 
Tlie land is open to your seed. 
And would you fain prevent my pigs 
From nmning there their hannless rigsf 
God knows 1 view tliis compromise 
With not tiie most approving eyes ; 
I gave up my unquestioned rights 
For sake of quiet days and nights ; 
1 offered then, you know 't is true, 
To cut the piece of land in two." 
" Then cut it now," growls North ; 

" Abate 
Your heat," savs South. " "t is now too late ; 
I offered y<»u the rocky conier. 
But you, of your own goo<l the scomer, 
Ref^ised to take it : I am sorr>' ; 
No doubt you might have found a quarry, 
rerhaps a gnld-mine. for aught I know, 
Contaming heaps of native rhino ; 
You can't expect me to resign 
Myrigiits" — 

" But where." quoth North, "are mine?" 
yo«r rights," says totlier, *• well, that 's funny. 
/ bought the land" — 

" I paid the money " : 
" That." answered South. " is from tl»e point. 
The ownership, you 11 grant, is joint ; 
I 'm Rure my only hoi)e and tnist is 
Not law so much as alwtract justice. 
Though, you rememlwr, 'twas agreed 
That so and so — consult the deed ; 
Objections now are out of date. 
They might have answered once, but Pate 
Quashes them st the iwint we 'vc got to ; 
Obsta principii*. that s my motto." 
So saving. South began to whistle 
And fooke<l as obstinate as gristle. 
W^hile North went homeward, eaoli brown paw 
Clencheil like a knot of natural law, 
And all the while. In either car. 
Heard soiuethiug clickine' wondrous clear. 



166 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



To turn now to other matters, there are 
two things ii}x>n which it would seem fitting 
to dilate soniewliat more lAi'gelv in this 
ulace, — the Yankee character ami the Yan- 
kee dialect. And, first, of the Yankee char- 
acter, which has wanted neither open raa- 
ligners, nor even more dangerous enemies 
in ttie persons of tliose unskilful painters 
wlio Iiave given to it that hanlness, angii- 
laiity, and want of proper perspective, 
which, in tnitli, belonged, not to their 
subject, but to their own niggard and un- 
skilful pencil. 

New England was not so mucli the col- 
ony of a mother country, as a Hagar driven 
forth into the wildeniess. The little self- 
exiled band which came hither in 1620 
came, not to seek gold, but to found a 
democracy. They came that they might 
have the privilege to work and pray, to sit 
upon hanl Ijenches and listen to painful 
preachers as long as they would, yea, even 
imto thirty-seventhly, if the spirit so 
willed it. And surely, if the GreeK might 
botiMt his Tljennopylie, where three hun- 
dre<l men fell In resisting the Persian, we 
may well be pi*ou«l of our Plymouth Rock, 
where a handful of men, women, and chil- 
dren not merely facetl, but vanquished, 
winter, famine, the wilderness, and the yet 
more in\incih\fs storge that drew them l>ack 
to the green island far away. These fouuil 
no lotus growing upon the surly shore, the 
Uu<te of which could make them forget 
tJieir little native Ithaca ; nor were they so 
wanting to themselves in faith as to bum 
their ship, but could see the lair west- wind 
l>elly the homewanl sail, and then turn 
unrepining to grapple with the terrible 
Unknown. 

As Want was the prime foe these hardy 
exodists had to fortress themselves against, 
so it is little wonder if that tniditional 
feud is long in wearing out of the stock. 
The wounds of the ohl warfare were long 
a-]ieAli))g, and an east-wincl of hanl times 
puts a new ache in every one of them. 
Thrift was the first lesson in their honi- 
l)<»ok, pointe<l out, letter after letter, by the 
le.m finger of the hard schtKjlmaster, Ne- 
cessity. Neither were those idump, rosy- 
pIItHl" Englishmen that came hither, but a 
har<l-face<l, atrabilious, earnest-eyed race, 
stiff from long wrestling with the Lord in 
prayer, and who had taught Satan to 
tbvad the new Puritan hug. Add two 
Inmdretl years' influence of soil, climate, 
aii'l exi)Osure, with its necessary result of 
i liosyncrasies, and we have the present 
Yanki^e, full of expedients, half-master of 
all trades, inventive in all but the beauti- 
ful, full of sliifts, not yet capable of com- 
fort, armed at all points against the old 



enemy Hunger, longanimons, good at 
patching, not so careful for what is best 
as for what will do^ with a clasp to his 
purse and a button to his pocket, not 
skilled to build against Time, as in old 
countries, but against sore-pressing Need, 
accustomed to move the world with no 
vov arm but his own two feet, and no lever 
but his own long forecast A strange 
hybrid, indeed, did circumstance beget, 
here in the New World, upon the old 
Puritan stock, and the earth never before 
saw such mystic-practicalism, such nig- 
gard-geniality, such calculatine-fanaticisni, 
such cast-iron-enthusiasm, sucn sonr-faced- 
humor, such close-fisted-generosity. This 
new OrooSulus esuriena will maJce a living 
out of anything. He will invent new 
trades as well as tools. His brain is liis 
capital, ami he will get education at all 
risks. Put him on Juan Fernandez, and 
he would make a spelling-book first, atitl s 
salt-pan afterward. In eodum, JusterU, 
iMf — or the other way either, — it is all 
one, so anything is to he got by it. Yet, 
after all, thin, speculative Jonathan » 
more like the Englishman of two centuries 
ago than John Bull himself is. He has 
lost somewhat in 8oli<lity, has become Wn- 
ent an<l adaptable, but more of the origi- 
nal groundwork of chamcter remains. He 
feels more at home with Fulke Greville, 
Herljertof Cherbury, Quarles, George Her- 
l)ert, and Browne, 'than with his modem 
English cousins. He is nearer than John, 
bv at least a hundred years, to Nasehy, 
Marston Moor, Worcester, and the time 
when, if ever, there were tnie Englishmen. 
John Bull has suffered the idea of the 
Invisible to be very much fattened out of 
him. Jonathan is conscious still that he 
lives in the world of the Unseen as well as 
of the Seen. To move John you must 
make your fulcnim of solid lieef and pad- 
ding ; an alisti'act idea will do for Jona- 
than. 



%• TO THE INDULGENT READER i 

Mv friend, the Rev. Mr. Wilbur, having \tetn ! 
seiztMl with a dangerous fit of illncM. hcftire [ 
this Intnxluction ha«l i>assed Uimugb the pivM, ' 
and being incapscitatwl for all Uterarv exer- 
tion, sent to nie his notes, nieniorjuida, &«.. ' 
and requested me to fashion them hito x^nie 
shape more fitting for the general eye. This, 
owing to tlie f^-jignieutary and disjointed stiie 
of his manuscripts, I have felt wholly unable to 
do : yet, benig unwilling that the reader should 
lie deprived of such mits of his lueubmtioiis c« 
seenietl more finished, and not well discemiug 
how to segi-egate these fVoui the I'est, I have 
concluded to send them all to the press pre- 
cisely as they are. Columbus Nye. 

Fcutor aj a CAurcA tu /JuHr/foicH c'orti^r. 



ruTBODUcrnoN. 



167 



It remains to speak of the Yankee dia- 
lect And, first, it may be premised, in a 
general way, that any one mnch read in 
the writings of the early colonists need 
not be told that the far greater share of 
the words and phrases now esteemed pe- 
culiar to New England, and local there, 
were brought from the mother country. 
A person familiar with the dialect of cer- 
tain portions of Massachusetts will not 
fail to recognize, iu onlinary discourse, 
many wonis now noted in English vocabu- 
laries as archaic, the greater part of which 
were in common use about the time of 
the King James translation of the Bible. 
Shakespeare stands less in need of a glos- 
sary to most New-Englanders than .to 
many a native of the Old Country. The 
peculiarities of our speech, however, are 
rapidly wearing out. As there is no 
country where reading is so universal and 
newspapers are so multitudinous, so no 
phrase remains lom^ local, but is trans- 
plan teil in the mail-bags to every remotest 
conier of the land. Consequently our 
dialect approaches nearer to uniformity 
than that of any other nation. 

The English have complained of us for 
coining new woitls. Many of those so 
stigmatized were old ones by them forgot- 
ten, and all make now an unoiiestioned 
part of the currency, wherever English is 
spoken. Undoubtedly, we have a right to 
make new words, as they are needed by 
the fresh aspects under which life presents 
itself here in the New World ; and, indeed, 
wherever a lan^iage is alive, it grows. It 
might be question^ whether we could not 
establish a stronger title to the ownership 
of the Euglish tongue than the mother- 
islanders themselves. Here, past all ques- 
tion, is to be its great home and centre. 
And not only is it already spoken here by 
greater numbers, but with a far higher 
popular average of correctness than in 
Britain. The great writers of it, too, we 
might claim as ours, were ownership to be 
settled by the number of readers and lovers. 

As regards the provincialisms to be met 
with in this volume, I may say that the 
reailer will not find one which is not (as I 
believe) either native or imported with the 
early settlers, nor one which I have not, 
with my own ears, hearrl in familiar use. 
In the metrical iX)rtion of the book, I 
have endeavored to adapt the spelling as 
nearly as possible to the ordinary mode of 
pronunciation. Let the reader who deems 
me over-particular remember this caution 
of Martial : — 

" Qvem reet/M, neus eat, Fidentiru, libeUus; 
8ed male cum, recitcu, incipit esw tutu." 



A few further explanatory remarks will 
not be impertinent. 

I shall barely lay down a few general 
rules for the reader's guidance. 

1. The genuine Yankee never gives the 
rough sound to the r when he can help it, 
and often displays considerable ingenuity 
in avoiding it even before a vowel. 

2. He seldom sounds the final ^, a piece 
of self -denial, if we consider his partiality 
for nasals. The same of the final d, as 
Aan* and start' for kand and stand. 

3. The h in such words as while, tohen, 
where, be omits altogether. 

4. In regard to a, he shows some incon- 
sistency, sometimes giving a close and 
obscure sound, as hev for hare, he^idy lor 
handy, ez for as, thet for that, and again 
giving it the broad sound it has in fattier, 
as hAnsotne for handsome. 

5. To the sound ou he prefixes an e 
(hard to exemplify otherwise than orally). 

The following passage in Shakespeare 
he would recite thus : — 

" Neow Is the winta uv eour discontent 
Med fflorioQs summa by this sun o' Yock. 
An' aU the cleouds thet leowered upun eour 

heouse 
In the deep bnzzuni o' the oshin buried : 
Neow air eour breowii beound 'ith vlcturious 

wreaths : 
Eour brensed anns hung up fer monbnimce ; 
Eour stam alarums changed to merry muetiii^, 
Eour drcffle marches to delighfle niasureA. 
Grim-visagedwar heth smeuthed his wrinkled 

fh)nt, 
An' neow, instid o' mounttn' barebid steeds 
To fright the souls o' ferfle edverneries, 
He cajiers niinly in a lady'a ch&mber. 
To the lascivious pleasin' uv a loot." 

6. Au, in such words as daughter 2^<i 
slaughter, he pronounces ah. 

7. To the dish thus seasoned add a drawl 
ad libitum. 

[Mr. WUbui^s notes here become entirely 
fhigmentary. — C. N.] 

a. Unable to procure a likeness of Mr. 
Biglow, I thoi^ht the curious reailer might 
be i^tified w^ith a sight of the e<Utorial 
effigies. And here a choice between two 
was offered, — the one a pnifile (entirelv 
black) cut by Doyle, the other a portrait 
painted by a native artiht of much proniis«\ 
The first of the.se seemed wanting in ex- 
pression, and in the second a slight obli']- 
uity of the visual organs has been hei<rh*- 
enetl (perhaps from an over-desire of force 
on the part of the artist) into too close nn 
approach to actual strabismus. Thissii"ht 
divergence in niv optical apparatus f ot'i 
the ordinary model — however I may have 



i ' 



168 



THE BIGLOW PAPEBS. 



I 



hfien tanffht to regard it in the light of a 
mercy rather than a cross, since it enabled 
me to give as much of directness and per- 
sonal application to my discourses as met 
the wants of my congre^tion, without 
risk of offending any bymmg supposed to 
have him or her in my eye (as the saying 
is)— seemed yet to Mrs. Wilbur a sufficient 
objection to the enmving of the aforesaid 
painting.' We read of manv who either 
absolutely refused to allow the copying of 
their features, as especially did Plotmus 
and AgesilauB among the ancients, not to 
mention the more modem instances of 
Scioppius, Palfsottus, Pinellus, Velserus, 
Oataker, and others, or were indifferent 
thereto, as Cromwell. 

^. Yet was Cuesar desirous of concealing 
his baldness. Per contra, my Lord Pro- 
tector's carefulness in the matter of his 
wart might be cited. Men generally more 
desirous of being improvea ia their por- 
traits than characters. Shall pmbnbly 
find very unflattered likenesses of ourselves 
in Recording AngeFs gallery. 

y. Whether any of our national peculiar- 
ities may be traced to our use of stoves, as 
a certain closeness of the lips in pronuncia- 
tion, and a smothered smouldenngness of 
disposition seldom roused to open flame ? 
An unrestrained intercourse witli fire prob- 
ably conducive to generosity and hospi- 
tality of soul. Ancient Mexicans used 
shoves, as the friar Augustin Ruiz reports, 
Hakluyt, III. 468, — but Popish priests 
not always reliable authority. 

To-day picked my Isabella grapes. Crop 
injured by attacks of rose-bug in the 
spring! Whether Noah was justifiable in 
preserving this class of insects If 



I 



8. Conceniing Mr. Biglow's pedigree. 
Tolerably certain that there was never a 
poet among his ancestors. An ordination 
Jjymn attributecl to a maternal uncle, but 
perhaps a sort of production not demand- 
ing the creative faculty. 

His grandfather a painter of the gran- 
diose or Michael Angelo school. Seldom 
painted objects smaller than houses or 
nams, and these with uncommon ex- 
j»re8sion. 

f. Of the Wilburs no complete pedigree. 
The crest said to be a icild bonr^ whence, 
piThaps, the name. (?) A connection with 
tbe Earls of Wilbmham {q^irtgi wild boar 
linm) niitrbt be made out. Tliis suggestion 
vorth following up. In 1677, John W. m. 

Expect , ha<l fssue, 1. John, 2. Hag- 

gai, 3. Expect, 4. Ruhamah, 5. Desire. 



" Hear lyes y* bodye of Mn Expect Wnber, 
Yc crewell salvages they kil'd her 
Together wih other Christian soles eleaven, 
October y iz daye, 1707. 
Ye Ktreain of Jordan sh' as erost ore 
And now expeacts me on y« other shore : 
I live hi hope her soon to join ; 
Her earthlye yeeres were forty and nine" 
FTom Gravestone in Pehussett, North PariA. 

This is unquestionably the same John 
who afterH'ard (1711) married Tabitlia 
Hagg or Ra^. 

But if this were the case, she seems to 
have died early ; for only three years alter, 
namely, 1714, we have evidence that he 
married Winifred, daughter of Lieutenant 
Tipping. 

He seems to have been a man of sub- 
stance, for we find him in 1696 conveying 
" one undivided eightieth part of a salt- 
meadow " in Yabbok, and ne commanded 
a sloop in 1702. 

Those who doubt the importance of gen- 
ealc^cal studies fuste potius quam aryu- 
mento emdiendi, 

I trace him as far as 1723, and there lose 
him. In that year he was chosen selectman. 

No gravestone. Perhaps overthrown 
when new hearse-house was built, 1S02. 

He was probably the son of John, itho 
came from Bilham Comit. Salop, circa 1642. 

Tliis first John was a man of consider- 
able importance, being twice mentioned 
with the honorable prefix of Mr, in tlie 
town records. Name spelt witli two ^s. 

" Hear lyeth }*• bod {itOM unlutppily brotra.] 
Mr. Ihon Willber [Eaq.] [/ xnti<m tkU ia 
bradiets as doubtful To me it $enu dear. ] 
Ob't die [OUfibU: looke hke xviiL] . . . . ■ 
iii [prob. 1093.] 

paynt 

. deseas^ seinte : 
A Mend and [flith]er untoe all >■« opreast. 
Hee gave y« wicked faniilists noe reast. 
When Sat [an bllewe his Antinoniian blasts. 
Wee clong to [Willber aa a steadf]ast maste. 
[A] gaynst y« horrid Qua[ker8] " 

It is greatly to be lamented that this 
curious epitaph is mutilated. It is ssid 
that the sacrilegious British soldiers nia«le 
a target of this stone during the wamf 
Independence. How odious an animosity 
which pauses not at the grave ! How 
bnital that which spares not the monu- 
ments of authentic history ! This is not 
improbably from the pen of Rev. Moody 
Pyram, who is mentioned by Hubbard a*? 
having been noted for a silver vein of 
poetrj-. If his pa|)ers be still extant, a 
copy might possibly be recovered. 



-. — -^ 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



No- I. 
A LETTER 

FBOSf NR. EZBKIEL BIGLOW OP JAALAM TO 
THE HOX. JOSEPH T. BUCK HICHAM, ED- 
ITOR OF THE BOSTON COURIER, INCLOS- 
ING A POEM OP HIS SON, MB. HOSEA 

BIGLOW. 

Jatlem, June 1846. 

Mister Eddtter : ~ Our Rosea wuz 
dnwn to Boston last week, and he see a 
crnetin Sarjiint a stnittin round as popler 
OS a hen vith 1 chickins:, with 2 fellers a 
dnunmin and fifln arter him like all nater. 
the sarjnnt he thout Rosea hed n't gut his 
i teeth cut cos he looked a kindo 's thongh 
he*d jest com down, so he cal'lateii to 
hook him In, but Rosy wood n*t take none 
o'his sarse for all he hed much as 20 
Rooster's tales stnck onto his hat and 
eenamost enuf brass a lx>bbin up and down 
on his shoulders and fignreed onto his coat 
anil trousis, let alone wut nater hed sot 
in his featers, to make a 6 pounder ont on. 

wal. Rosea he com home considerabal 
riled, and arter 1 'd cone to bed T heem 
Him a throshiii round like a short-tailed 
Bnll in Hi- time. The old Woman ses she 
to me ses she, Zekle, ses she, our Rosee 's 
gnt the choller}' or suthin annther ses she, 
don't y<m Bee sheared, ses I, he 's oney 
amakin pottery* ses i, he 's oilers on 
hand at that ere busyues like Da k mar- 
tin, and shnre enuf, cum momin, Rosy he 
cum down stares full chizzle, hare on eend 
and cote tales flyin, and sot rite of to ^o 
reed his varses to Parson Wilbur bein he 
haint aney grate shows o' book lamin him- 
self, bimeby he cnm l>ack and sed the 
parson wuz dreffle tickled with 'em as i 
noop you will Be, and said they wuz True 
grit. 

Rosea ses taint hardly fair to call 'em 
: ___ xu- parson i"'-'i -» '11 



Rosee he did n't want to put his ore In to 
t«tch to the Rest on 'em, beiu they wuz 
verry well As thay wuz, and then Rosy 
ses he sed suthin a nuther about Simplex 
Muudishes or sum sech feller, but I guess 
Rosea kind o' did n't hear him, for I never 
heam o' nobody o' that name in this vil- 
ladge, and T 've lived here man and lx)y 76 
year cum next tater diggin, and thair aint 
no wheres a kittiug spryer 'n I be. 

If you print 'em I wish you 'd jest let 
folks know who hosy's father is, cos my 
ant Keziah used to say it's nater to be 
curus ses she, she aint liviu though and 
he 's a likely kind o' lad. 

EZEEIEL BIGLOW. 



hisn now. cos the 



kind o' slicked 



off sum o' the last varses, but he told 
• AfU insanU, aut v€no$ /aeU. — H. W. 



Thrash away, you 'U hcv to rattle 

On them kittle-drums o' youm, — 
'Taint a knowin' kind o' cattle 

Thet is ketched ^dth mouldy com ; 
Put in stiff, you fifer feller, 

Let folks see how spry you be, — 
Guess you '11 toot till you are yeller 

'Fore yon git ahold o' me ! 

Thet air flag 's a leetle rotten, 

Hope it aint your Sunday's best; — 
Fact ! it takes a sight o' cotton 

To stuff out a soger's chest : 
Sence we farmers hev to pay fer *t, 

Ef you must wear humps like these, 
Sposin' you should try salt hay fer 't. 

It would du ez slick ez grease. 

'T would n't suit them Southun fellers, 

They 're a dreffle graspin' set, 
We must oilers blow the bellers 

Wen they want their irons het ; 
May be it 's all rij^ht ez preachin'. 

But my narves it kind o' grates, 
W<*n I see the overreachin* 

0' them uigger-drivin'. States. 



170 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



Them thet role us, them slave-traders, 

Haint they cut a thunderiii' swarth 
(Helped by Yankee renecaders), 

Thru the vaiiu o' the North ! 
We Wgiii to thiiik it '» iiater 

To take saree an' not be riled ; — 
Who *d expect to see a tater 

All on eend at beiu' biled ? 

Ez fer war, 1 call it murder, — 

There you hev it plain an' flat ; 
I don't want to go no furder 

Than my Testyment fer that ; 
God hez sed so plump an* fairly, 

It 's ez long ez it is broad. 
An' vou 've gut to git up airly 

£f you want to take in God. 

•Taint your enpyletts an' feathers 

Make the tiling a grain more right ; 
'Taint afollerin' your l^ell-wethera 

Will excuse ye in His sight ; 
Ef you take a sword an' dror it, 

An' go stick a feller thni, 
Uuv'ment aint to answer for it, 

God '11 send the bill to you. 

Wut 's the use o* meetin'-goin* 

Every Sabbath, wet or dry, 
Ef it 's right to go aniowin' 

Feller-men like oats an' rye! 
I dunno but wut it *8 ]>ooty 

Trainin' round in bobtail coats, — 
But it 's curns Christian dootv 

This 'ere cuttin' folks's throats. 

They may talk o* Freedom's airy 

"Tell they 're pupple in the face, — 
It 's a grand gret cemetary 

Fer the Imrthright* of our race ; 
They jest want this Califomy 

So 's to lug tiew slave-states in 
To abuse ye, an* to scorn yo, 

An* to plunder ye like sin. 

Aint it cute to see a Yankee 

Take sech everlastin' pains, 
All to git the Devil's thankee 

Helpin' on 'em weld their chains ! 
Wy, it 's jest ez clear ez figgers. 

Clear ez one an' one make two, 
Chnns thet make black slaves o* niggers 

Want to make wite slaves o* you. 

Tell ye jest the eend I 've come to 
j Arter cipherin' plaguy smart, 
1 An' it makes a handy sum, tu, 
j Any gump could Tarn by heart ; 



Laboriu' man an* laborin' woman 
Hev one glory an' one shame. 

Ev*y thin* thet 's done inhuman 
Iigers all on 'em the same. 

Taint by tuniin* out to hack folks 

You 're agoin' to git your right, 
Nor by look in' down on black folks 

Coz you 're put upon by wite ; 
Slavery aint o nary color, 

'Taint the hide thet makes it wus, 
All it keers fer in a feller 

'S jest to make him fill its pus. 

Want to tackle m^ in, du ye ? 

I expect you '11 hev to wait ; 
Wen cold lend puts daylight thru ye 

You '11 begin to kal'late ; 
S'pose the crows wun't fall to pickin' 

All the carkiss from your bones, 
Coz you helped to mve a lick in' 

To them \)oot haYf-Si»anish drones? 

Jest go home an* ask our Nancy 

Wether I 'd be sech a goose 
Ez to jine ye, — guess yon *d fancy 

The etanial bung wuz loose ! 
She wants me fer home consumption, 

Let alone the hay *8 to mow, — 
Ef you 're arter folks o* gumption, 

You 've a darned long row to hoe. 

Take them editors thet *s crowin' 

Like a cockerel three months old, — 
Don't ketch any on 'em goin', 

Tliough they he so b]nste<i Iwld ; 
Aivt they a prime lot o' fellers? 

'Fore they think on 't they will sproat 
(Like a peach thet 's got the yellers), 

With the meanness bustin* out. 

Wal, go 'long to help 'em stealin* 

Bigger p<*ns to cram with slaves, 
Help the men thet *s oilers dealin* 

Insults on your fathers* graves ; 
Help the strong to grind the feeble. 

Help the many agin the few. 
Help the men thet chII j-onr ]ieople 

Witewashetl slaves an* peddlin crew ! 

Massachusetts, God forgive her. 

She 's akneelin' with the rest, 
She, thet ough* to ha' cUing ferever 

In her grand old eagle-nest ; 
She thet ongh' to stand so fearless 

Wile the wracks are round her hurled, 
Holdin' up a beacon peerless 

To the oppi-essed of all the world I 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



171 



Haint they sold your colored seamen 7 

Haiut they made your euv'yH wiz ? 
tFtU 'II make ye act like fi-eetiien ? 

}yul 'II git vour dander riz ? 
Come, 1 'II teli ye wut I 'm thinkin' 

U our dooty in tliis fix, 
They 'd ha' done *t ez ([uick ez winkin' 

In the days o' seveuty-six. 

Clang the bells in everj' steeple, 

Call all trne men to disown 
The tradoocer» of our jieople, 

The enslavers o' their own ; 
Let our dear old Bay State prondly 

Put the tnini[)et to her mouth. 
Let her rin^ this inessidge loudly 

In the ears of all the South : — 



" I '11 return 3'e goo«l fer evil 

Much ez we frail mortils can. 
But I wun't go help the Devil 

Makin' man the ens o' man ; 
Call me cowai-d, call me trailer. 

Jest ez suits your mean idees, — 
Here 1 htaiul a tyrant-hator. 

An' the friend o* God an' Peace ! 



deal with bim suitablj to the condition and 
prufession lie hadiiluced hiui in"? It may lie 
said of UB all, ExeMvlo vliu guam ratione vivi- 
mm. — H. W.] 



»» 



Ef I *d my way 1 hed ruther 

We should go to work an' part, — 
They take one way, we take t' other, — 

Guess it would n't break my heart ; 
Man hed ough* to put asunder 

Them thet God nas noways jined ; 
An' I should n't gretlv wonder 

£f there 's thousands o' my mind. 

IThe fimt TtKTiiftlng nergpant on Te*»ord I 
coin-cive to have been that individiuil who is 
nientioiir<l in the Bnok of Job an ffohig ^» and 
fro ia thf ettiib, nmf imJk'intj vp nnrl rfoim in 
it. Bi3«liop I^atiiner vrill have him to have 
b«*« a bishop, but to n»o that other calling 
would appear more congenial The aect of 
Catnitca w not yet extinct, who eftteemed the 
flrst-liorn of Adam to he the most worthy, not 
only liernuKC of that privilege of primogeniture, 
hilt inaamnch aa he was able to overcome and 
•lay hia younger brother. That waa a wine 
M>'ing of the famons Marqnin PeAcara to the 
r»pnl liCgatc. thnUit ipom impoMible for mm to 
errrt Mars and Christ at the mme thne. Yet in 
tinie )iaat the profeasion of arms was Judged 
tn lie «aT* iioxii¥ that of a gentleman, noT doea 
this opinion wunt for atreiiuouH niiholdere even 
in our day. Mrntt we 8U)i))oae, tiien, that the 
profession of Christianity waa only intended 
for losela. or, at beat, to affonl an oiiening for 
plel¥>ian ambition ? Or ahall we hold with thnt 
nicely metapliVRlcal Pomemnian, Captain Vratz. 
who was Count Koniganiark's chief instrument 
in the murrler of Mr. Thynne, that the Scheme 
of RalTAtion has been armneed with an e«|>e- 
cial eye to the necesaitiea of the up|>er cla4S<it, 
and that " God would cousiderap<n(2cTMan ood 



No. n. 

A LETl'ER 

FROM MR. HOSEA BIGLOW TO THE HON. 
J. T. BUCKINGHAM, EDITOR OK THE BOS- 
TON COURIER, COVERING A LETTER FROM 
MR. B. BAWIN, PRIVATE IN THE MASSA- 
CHUSETTS REGIMENT. 

[This letter of Mr. Sawin's was not orljjinally 
written in verse. Mr. Biglow. thiul^iuK it ]«- 
cnliarly suaceptible of metrical adoniuicnt, 
translated it, so to Bi»eak. into his own vcninc- 
nlar tongue. This is not the time to couKider 
the question, whether rhyme lie a mode of ex- 
l>ressiuu natural to the human race, if leisure 
from other and more Important avocations be 
granted. I will handle the matter more nt Inrge 
in an api^endix to the present volume. In this 
jdace I will barely remark, that I have some- 
times noticed in the unlanguagetl prnttlings of 
infants a fondness for allitemtioii, aiiHoiuuice, 
nnd even rhyme, in which natural predisi>os{- 
tion we may trace the thn*e degn«es through 
which our Angle-Saxon verse rose to its culmi- 
nation in the poetr}' of Poih). I would not l>e 
understood as questioning In these remarks 
that jiious theory which RU]>i)oseM that chiklrcn. 
if left entirely to themselves, would naturally 
dist^ourse in Hebrew. For this the authoritv 
of one experiment is chiin)ed, and I could, with 
Sir Tliomas Browne, desire its establishment, 
inasmuch as the acquirement of thnt sacred 
tongue would thereby be facilitated. I am 
awnre that HenMlotus states the conclusion of 
Psauuneticus to have Iteen in favor of a dinlcct 
of the Phrygian. Hut, Ijeside the chance tliat 
a trial of* this 1miM>rtancc would hnnlly Iw 
blcMied to a Pngan monarch whose only motive 
was curi<»8lty, we have on the Hcbn*w side the 
comparatively rei-ent inventigation of James 
the Fourth of Scotland. I will add to this 
prefator}' remark, that Mr. Sawin, though a 
native of Jaalam, has never been a state*! at- 
tendant on the religious exen-iscs of my con- 
gn'gathm. t consider my humble efforts pms- 
pered in that not one of my slieep hnth ever 
indued the wolfa clothing of war, save for the 
comparatively innocent divereion of a militia 
training. Not that my flf>ck arc Iwickwonl to 
undergo the hardshiiw of defeninrt warfare. 
They serve cheerfullv in the great anny which 
fights even unto de^th proa rfa et /ocU, aicoulrcd 
with the spade, the axe, the plane, the sledge, 
the spelling-book, and other such effe<'tual 
weapons against want and ignorance and uii- 
thrifL I have tatight them (under God) tf» es- 
teem our htmian institutions as but tents of a 
night, to \re stricken whenever Truth puts the 
bngie to her lips and sotmds a march to the 
heights of wider-viewed intelligence and more 
peifect otganizatioiL — U. W.] 



172 



THE BIGLOW PAPERa 



BfiBTBR BucxmuM, the follerin Billet 
was writ hum by a Yung feller of our town 
that wnz cussed fool enuff to goe atrottin 
inter Miss CliiflT arter a Drum and fife, it 
ain't Nftter for a feller to let on that he 's 
sick o* any bizness that He went intu off 
his own free will and a Cord, but I ratlier 
cal'late he's niiddlin tired o' voluntearin 
By this Time. I bleeve u may put depen- 
dunts on his statemence. For I never 
heered nothin bad on him let Alone his 
havin what Parson Wilbur cals a pmig 
thong for cocktales, and he ses it wnz a 
soshiashun of idees sot him agoin arter the 
Crootin Sargient cos he wore a cockt&le 
onto his hat 

his Folks sin the letter to me and i shew 
it to parson Wilbur and he ses it oughter 
Bee printed, send It to mister Buckinnm, 
ses he, i don't oilers agree with him, ses 
he, but Vy Time,* ses he, I du like a feller 
that aint a Feared. 

I have intuRspussed a Few refleckshnns 
hear and thair. We *re kind o' prest with 
Hay in. 

Ewers respecfly 

HOSEA BIOLOW. 

Thia kind o* sogerin* aint a mite like 
our October training 

A chap could clear right out from there 
er 't only looked like rainin', 

An' th' Gunnies, tu, could kiver up 
their shappoes with bandanners, 

An' send the msines skootin' to the bar- 
room with their banners 

(Fear o' gittin' on 'em spotted), an* a fel- 
ler could cry quarter 

£f he fired away his ramrod arter tn 
much rum an' water. 

Recollect wut fun we bed, you'n' I an' 
Ezry HoUis, 

Up there to Waltham plain last fall, 
along o' the Coniwallis ? t 

This sort o' thing aint jest like thet, — 
I wish thet I wuz fui-der, — X 

Nimepunce a day fer killin' folks comes 
kind o' low for muixler, 

* In relation to this expression, I cannot but 
think that Mr. Biglow hau b«en too hasty in 
attributing it to nie. Though Time lie a rom- 
piinitively innocent itersonnge to swear by, and 
though Longinus in liis discours« IIcpt'Y^ovt 
hnve conunemltHl timely oaths as not only a use- 
ful but sublime figure of s]>ecoh, yet I linve al- 
ways kept my lips free from that alKHUiuatlon. 
OfU jtro/anum v>nlgua. I hate your swearing and 
hettorJMg fellows. — H. W. 

t i hflit the Site of a feller with a niuskit as I 
du pizn But their w fun to a cornwallis I atnt 
•goln' to deny it. — H. B. 

I he means Not quite so fur I guess. -- U. B 



(Wy 1 We worked ont to slarterin' some 

fer Deacon Cephas Billias, 
An* in the hardest times there wuz I 

oilers tetched ten ahillins,) 
There 's sutthin* gits into my throat thft 

makes it hard to swaller, 
It comes so nateral to think about a 

hempen collar ; 
It 's gloiy, — but, in spite o' all my tiy* 

in' to git callous, 
I feel a kind o' in a cart, aridin' to the 

gallus. 
But wen it comes to bcin killed, — I tell 

ye I felt streaked 
The fust time 't ever I found out wr 

baggonets wiu peaked ; 
Here *8 how it wuz : I started oat to go 

to a fandango, 
The sentinul he ups an* sez, "That's 

funler *an you can go." 
" None o* your sarse," sez I ; sez he, 

" Stan*^ back ! " " Aint you a bus- 

ter?" 
Sez I, " I *m up to all thet air, I guess 

I *ye ben to muster ; 
I know wy sentinula air sot ; you aint 

agoin to eat us ; 
Caleb haint no monoiioly to court the 

seenoreetas ; 
My folks to hum air full ez good ez hisn 

l«, by golly ! ** 
An* so ez I wuz goin' by, not thinkin' 

wut would folly, 
The everlastin* cus'he stuck his one- 
pronged pitchfork in me 
An* ma<le a hole right thru my close ez 

ef I wuz an in my. 

Wal, it beats all how big I felt hooraw- 

in' in ole Funnel 
Wen Mister BoUes he gin the sword to 

our liCftenant Cunnle, 
(It 's Mister Secondary Bolles,* thet 

writ the piize peace essay ; 
Thet 's why he did n't list himself along 

o' us, I desjiay,) 
An' Rantoul, tu, talked pooty loud, but 

don't put his foot in it, 
Coz human life 's so sacred thet he 's 

principled agin it, — 
Though I myself can't rightly see it 's 

any wus achokin' on 'em. 
Than puttin' bullets thru their lights, or 

with a bagnet pokin* on 'cm ; 

* the igiterant creeter means Sekketary : bat 
he oilers stuck to his Iiouks like cobbler's wax 
to au ilc-stone. — U. B. 



I 



I 



I 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



173 



1 



How drefBe slick he reeled it off (like 

Elite at our lyceum 
Abaulin* ribbins from his chops so quick 

you skeercely see *eiiiX 
About the Anglo-Saxon race (an* saxons 

would be handy 
To du the buryin' down here upon the 

Rio Grandy), 
About our patriotic pas an' our star- 
spangled banner, 
Our country's bird alookin' on an' sing- 
in' out hosanner, 
An' how he (Mister B. himself) wuz 

happy fer Ameriky, — 
I felt, ez sister Patience sez, a leetle mite 

histericky. 
I felt, I swon, ez though it wuz a dreffle 

kind o' prinlf'ge 
Atrampin' round thru Boston streets 

among the gutter's drivelage ; 
I act'lly thought it wuz a treat to hear 

a little drummin'. 
An' it did bonyfidy seem millanynm wuz 

Bcomin' 
Wen all on us got suits (darned like 

them wore in the state prison) 
An' ever}' feller felt ez though all Mexico 

wuz hisn.* 

Tbis 'ere 's about the meanest place a 
skunk could wal diskiver 

(Saltillo's Mexican, I b'lieve, fer wut we 
call Salt-river); 

The sort o' trash a feller gits to eat doos 
beat all nater, 

I 'd give a year's pay fer a smell o* one 
good blue-nose tater ; 

The country here thet Mister Holies de- 
clared to be so charmin' 

Throughout is swarmin* with the most 
alarmin' kind o' varmin'. 

He talked about delishis fi-oots, but then 

it wuz a wopper all, 
Tlie boll on *t 's mud an' prickly pears, 

with here an' there a chapparal ; 
You see a feller peekin' out, an', fust you 

know, a lariat 



* it must be aloud that tbare 's a streak of 
nater in lovin' sho, but it sartinly is 1 of the 
CQru8«8t things in nater to see a risitecktable 
<iri goods dealer (deekon ofT a chutch mayby) 
a riggin' himself out in the Wei^h they du and 
strattin' round in the Reign aspilin' his trowsis 
and niakin* wet goods of himself. Ef any thin's 
foolisher and moor dicklus than militerr}' gloa- 
ly it is xuiiisliy gloory. — H. B. 



Is round your throat an' yon a copse, 'fore 

you can say, ** Wut air ye at ? "* 
You never see sech darned gret bugs (it 

may not be irrelevant 
To say I 've seen a aeardbceuspilulariusi 

big ez a year old elephant). 
The rigiment come up one day in time 

to stop a red bug 
From runniu' off with Cunnle Wrigbt, 

— 't wuz jest a common cimex IrC" 
tularius. 

One night I started up on eeud an' 

thought I wuz to hum agin, 
I heem a horn, thinks I it s Sol the 

fisherman hez come agin. 
His bellowses is sound enough, — ez I 'm 

a livin' creeter, 
I felt a thing go thni my leg, — 't wuz 

nothin' more 'n a skeeter ! 
Tlien there 's the yaller fever, tu, they 

call it here el vomito, — 
(Come, thet wun't du, you landcrab 

there, 1 tell ye to le* go my toe ! 
My gracious ! it 's a scorpion thet *s took 

a sliine to play with 't, 
I darsn't skeer the taraal thing fer fear 

he 'd run away with 't) 
Afore I come away from hum I bed a 

strong persuasion 
Thet Mexicans wom't human beans, $ 

— an ourang outang nation, 

A sort o' folks a chap could kill an* 

never dream on *t arter. 
No more 'n a feller 'd dream o' pigs thet 

he bed bed to slarter ; 
I 'd an idee thet they were built arter 

the darkie fashion all. 
An' kickin' colored folks about, you 

know, 's a kind o' national ; 
But wen I jined I womt so wise ez thet 

air queen o' Slieby, 
Fer, come to look at 'em, they aint 

much diff'rent from wut we be, 
An' here we air ascrougin' 'em out o' thir 

own dominions, 

* these fellers are verry proppilly called Rtnk 
Heroes, and the more tna kill the ranker and 
more Herowick tha bekum. — H. B. 

t it wuz " tumblebiig" an he Writ it, but the 
parson put the Latten tiistid. 1 sed totlier maid 
lictter mecter, but he said tlui was cddyknted 
i)eepl to Boston and tha would n't stan' it no 
how. idnow an tlia ivowl and idnow a* tha 
wood. — H. B. 

t he means human beins, that 's wut he 
means i spose he kinder thought tha wuz 
human beans ware the Xisle Poles conies from. 
— tt B. 



174 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



Ashelterin* 'em, ez Caleb sez, under our 

eagle's pinions, 
Wich means to take a feller up jest by 

the slack o' 's trowsls 
An' walk hitn Spanish clean right out o* 

all his homes an' houses ; 
Wal, it doos seem a curus way, but then 

hooraw fer Jackson ! 
It must be right, fer Caleb sez it *s regu- 
lar Anglo-saxon. 
The Mex'catis don't Hght fair, tliey say, 

they piz'n all the water, 
An' du aiiiazin' lots o' things thet is n't 

wut they ough' to ; 
Bein' they haint no lead, they make 

their bullets out o' copper 
An' shoot the darned things at us, tu, 

wich Caleb sez aint proper; 
He sez they 'd ouj^h' to stnn' right up 

an* let us pop em fairly 
(Guess wen he Ketches 'em at thet he '11 

hev to git up airly), 
Thet our nation 's bi^i^ger *n theim an' 

so its rights air bigger. 
An' thet it 's all to make *em free thet 

we air pullin' trigger, 
Thet Anglo Saxondom's idee 's abreakin* 

'em to pieces, 
An' thet idee 's thet every man doos jest 

wut he damn pleases ; 
£f I don't make his meanin' clear, per- 
haps in some respex I can, 
I know thet *' every man" don't mean 

a nigger or a Mexican ; 
An' there s another thing I know, an' 

thet is, ef these creetui-s, 
Thet stick an Anglosaxon mask onto 

State-prison feeturs. 
Should come to Jaalam Centre fer to 

argify an' spout on 't. 
The gals 'ould count the silver spoons 

tlie minnit they cleared out on 't. 

This goin' ware glory waits ye haint one 

agreeable feetur. 
An' ef it worn'i fer wakin' snakes, 1 *d 

home agin short meter ; 
0, would n't I l>e off, quick time, ef 't 

worn't thet I wuz sartin 
They 'd let the daylight into me to pay 

me fer desartin ! 
I don't approve o' tellin* tales, but jest 

to you I may state 
Our ossifei-8 aint wut they wuz afore 

they left the Bay-state ; 
Thon it wnz " Mister Sawin, sir, you 're 

middlin' well now, be ye ? 



Step up an' take a nipper, sir ; I 'm 

dreffle glad to see ye " ; 
But now it 's ** Ware s my eppylet f 

here, Sawin, stej) an' fetch it! 
An' mind your eye, be thund' rin' iq»Ty, 

or, damn ye, you shall ketch it ! ** 
Wal, ez the Doctor sez, some pork iKiIl 

bile so, but by mighty, 
Ef I hed some on 'em to hum, I *d gire 

'em linkum vity, 
I 'd play the rogue's march on their 

hides an' other music follerin' — 
But 1 nmst close my letter here, fer one 

on 'em 's ahollerin'. 
These Anglosaxon ossifers, — wal, taint 

no use ajawin', 
I 'm safe enlisted fer the war, 
Youm, 

BIRDOFREDOM SAWIN. 

(Those have not tx^en vi-nnting (aii. indeod, 
wlien h«th Sntan Ik^h to seek for attonipy**) 
who have maintained that cur late inixvul iiiftn 
Mexico waa undertaken, not so niwh Tor tl:c 
avenging of any national qnarrel. as for the 
spreading of tree Institutions and of Pmifi.t- 
antism. Capita vix dvabvs A nticjfH* wiv/esWo .' 
Veril}' I admire that no pious sergeant anion<! 
these new Cnisaders hehekl Martin Luther n«i- 
ing at the front of tlie host upon a tamed i*»i»- 
tJtical Imll. as, in that former invasion v{ 
Mexico, the zealous Gomara (spawn though he 
wei'e of the Scarlet Woman) was favored with 
a vision of 8t James of Coni|H>stcIUi, skewerins 
the inlldels upon his apostolical lance, ^'e 
read, also, that Richard of the lion lieart-, hav- 
ing gone to Palestine on a similar errand iif 
meivy, was divinely encouraged to cut tli* 
throats of mich Payniras as rt>fit8P<i to swallow 
the bread of life (doubtless that they might i« 
thereafter incapacitated for swallowing the 
filthy gobbets of Mahound) by angels of lienv- 
en. who cried to the king and \m knight::. -^ 
Seigneur*, tval (net/ providentially usiiii; the 
French tongue, as being the only one under- 
stood by their auditors. This would argue lor 
the tvintoglottism of these celestial iutcUigencea, 
while, on the other hand, the Devil, ttjitr Cci- 
ton Mather, is unversed in ccilain of the hutiaii 
dialecta. Yet must he be a scmeiologi»t the 
most expert, making himaelf intelligible tn 
ever>' people and kindred by signa : no other 
discourse, indeed, being needful, than such as 
the mackerel-fisher holds with his finued quar- 
i-j*, who, if other Iwiit be wanting, cau by .i iiate 
bit of white rag at the end of a string capti^-ate 
those foolish fishea. Such piscatorial omtcry 
is Satan cunning in. Before one he trails a hat 
and feather, or a bare feather without a hat ; 
before another, a Presidential chair or n tide- 
waiter's stool, or a pulpit in the city, no matter 
what. To us. dangling there over our heads, 
they seem Junkets dropped out of the seventh 
heaven, soi>s dipped In nectar, but, once in our 
mouths, they arc all one, bits of luzry cotton. 

This, however, by the way. It is time now 
revwnrt gmifvm. While so many miracles of 
this sort, vouched by eyewitnesses, hare en- 



J 



THE BIGLOW PAPESS. 



175 



connged the anns of F»pist8« not to speak of 
E(.-hetlarU8 at Jtforathoa and those Dioscuri 
(whom we must conchide imps of the )>it) who 
niixiry times captaiued the iw^an Konian aol- 
dkrry, it is stnuige that oar fl»t American cru- 
ude was not in some snch wise also signalized. 
Yet it is said that the Ijord hath manifestly 
proBiiered oar armies. This opens the ques- 
tion, whether, when our hands are strengUi- 
en«d to make great slaughter of our enemies, 
it be absolutely and demonstratively ceitain 
^at this might is added to un flroui above, or 
whether some Potentate from an opposite 
Quarter may not have a tinger in it, as there are 
few pies into which his meddling digits are not 
thrust Would the Sanctifler and Setter-apart 
of the seventh day have assisted in a victory 
gained on the Sabbatli, as was one in the late 
war? Or has that day become less an object 
of his especial care since the year 1607. when 
so manifest a providence occurred to Mr. Wil- 
liam Trowbridge, in answer to whose prayers, 
when he and all on shipboard with hini were 
starving, a dolphin was sent daily. " which was 
enough to serve 'em : only on Saturdayt they 
still catohed a couple, and on the Txtrd's Days 
they could catch none at all"? Ha]>ly they 
might liave been permitted, by way or mortifi- 
cation, to take some few sculpins (those hanes 
of the salt-water angler), which unseemly fish 
would, moreover, have conveyed to them a 
symbolical reproof for their breach of the day, 
being known in the rude dialect of our mari- 
ners as Cape Cod CUrtfymen, 

It has been a refVeshment to many nice con- 
sciences to know that onr Chief Magistrate 
woukl not regard with eyes of approval Uie (by 
many esteemed) sinful pastime of dancing, and 
1 own myself to be so far of that mind, that I 
ODuld not but set my face against this Mexican 
Polka, though danced to the Presidential pip- 
ing with a Gubernatorial second. If ever the 
cnantry should be seized with another such 
mania de propaifanda Me, I think it would be 
wise to fill our bombshells with alternate cop- 
ies of the Cambridse Platfonn and the Thirty- 
Dine Articles, whicln would ]>roduce a mixture 
or the highest exphraive power, and to wrap 
every one of our cannon-balls in a leaf of the 
Kew Testament, Uie reading of which is denied 
to those who sit in the darkness of Po}>ery. 
Those iron evangelists would thus be able to 
diwieminate vital religion and Gospel tnith In 
qnartera inacceasible to the ordinary mission- 
ary. I have seen lads, unhnpregiiate with the 
niore snbliumted punctiliousness of Walton, 
secure pickerel, taking their unwary siesta be- 
neath the lily-imds too nigh the surface, with 
a gun and small shot why not, then, since 
gimpowder was unknown in the time of the 
A]vmtles (not to enter here ui>on the question 
wiiether it were discovered before that period 
by the Cliineae). suit our metaphor to the age 
in which we live, and say shooters as well as 
fishers of men ? 

I do much fear that we shall be seized now 
and then with a Protestant fervor, as long as 
we have neighbor Na))oth8 whose wallowings 
in Papistical mire excite our horror m exact 
proportion to the size and desirableness of their 
vineyards. Yet I rejoice that some earnest 
Protectants have been made by this war, ~ I 
mean thr»sfi who protested against it. Fewer 
they were than I could wish, for one might im- 



a^ne America to have been colonised by a 
tribe of thos^ nondescript African animals tlio 
Aye-Ayes, so difficult a word in No to us alL 
There is some malformation or defect of the 
vocal organs, which either prevents our utter- 
ing it at all, or gives it so thick a pronunciation 
as to be unintelligible. A mouth filled with 
the national pudding, or watering in exi>ecti- 
tion thereof, is wholly inconi]>etent to this re- 
fractory monosyllable. An aUiect and her})etic 
Public Opinion is the Vnpe, the Anti-Christ, 
for us to protest against e confe oordium. And 
hj what College of Cardinals Is this our G(kI s- 
vicar, our binder and looser, elected? Very 
like, by the sacred conclave of Tag, Rag, and 
Bobtail, in the gracious atnio8])here of the 
grog-shop. Yet ft is of this tliat we must all 
be puppets. This thumps the pulpit-cushion, 
this guides the editor's pen, this wags the sen- 
ator's tongue. This decides what bcriptui-es 
are canonical, and shuffles Christ away into 
the Apocrypha. According to that senteni-e 
fathered upon 8olou, Ovtu 6iujl69iov kokw 
ipxvrai oixad' cKo^rry. This unclean spirit is 
s'.vUfUl to asissume various shajiea. 1 have known 
it to enter my own study and nudge my elliow 
of a Saturday, under the semblance of a wealthy 
member of my congre^tion. It were a great 
blessing, if every particuUr of what in the sum 
we call popular sentiment could carrv about 
the name of its manufacturer stamf>ed legibly 
upon it I gave a stab under the fifth nb to 
that pestilent fallacy, — " Our country, right 
or wrong," — by tracing its original to a s]>ee<rh 
of Ensign Cilley at a clinner of the Dangtown 
Penciblea.— H. W.] 



No. III. 



WHAT MR. ROBIVSON THINKS. 

[A FEW remarics on the following verses will 
not be out of place. The satire in them was 
not meant to have any personal, bnt only a 
general, application. Of the gentleman ujum 
whose letter they w^ere intended as a commen- 
tary Mr. Bifflow had never heard, till he saw the 
letter itself. Tlie )>osition of the satirist is 
oftentimes one which he would not have clios- 
en, had the election been left to himself In 
attacking bad principles, he is obliged to Hclect 
some individual who has made himself their 
exponent, and in whom they are imitersnuAte. 
to the end that what he says may not. through 
ambiguity, be dissipated lenues innnms. For 
what snys Seneca? Longiim iter per prrreeptHf 
breve et ejficace per exevnpla. A Iwd principle is 
comparatively harmless while it continues to 
be an abstraction, nor can the general mind 
comprehend it fully till it is printed In that 
large type which all men can read at sight, 
namely, the life and character, the sayings and 
doings, of iMirticular persons. It is one of ihe 
cunningest fetches of Satan, that he never ex- 
poses himself directly to our arrows, but, still 
dodging behind this neiglibor or that acquaint- 
ance, compels us to wound hlni thnmgh them, 
if at all. He holds our afTcctionM .is hoRUicTes, 
the while he patches up a truce with our con- 
science. 



176 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



Meanwhile, let us not forget that the aim of 
the true satirist is not to be severe u]x)n per- 
sons, but only upon falsehood, and, as Truth 
and Falsehood start from the same point, and 
sonietinieR even go along together for a little 
way, his business is to follow the path of the 
latter after it diverges, and to show her floun- 
dering in the bog st the end of it Truth is 
quite beyond Uie reach of satire. There is so 
brave a simplicity in her, that she can no more 
be made ridiculous than an oak or a pine. The 
danger of the satirist is. that continual use may 
deaden his sensibility to the force of language. 
He becomes more and more liable to strike 
harder than he knows or intends. He may be 
careful to put on his boxing-gloves, and yet 
forget that, the older they srow, the more 
plainlv may the knuckles insiJe be felt More- 
over, in the heat of contest, the eye is insensi- 
bly drawn to the crown of victory, whose taw- 
dry tinsel glitters through that dust of the ring 
which obscures Truth's wreath of simple leaves. 
I have sometimes thought that my young 
friend, Mr. Biglow, needed a monitory band 
laid on his arm, — aliquid $uJffUimtnandtu eroL 
I have never thought it good husbandly to 
water the tender plants of reform with aq%a 
fortU, yet, where so much is to do in the beds, 
he were s sorry gardener who should wsge a 
whole day's war with an iron scuffle on those 
ill weeds that make the garden-walks of life 
unsightly, when a sprinkle of Attic salt will 
wither them up. Ktt an eUam malediotndi, 
sajrs Scaliger, and tnily it is a hanl thing to 
say where the graceful gentleness of the lamb 
merges in downright sheepishness. We may 
conclude with worthy and wise Dr. Fuller, that 
"one may be a lamb in private wrongs, but in 
hearing general aflh)nts to goodness they are 
asses which are not lions."— H. W.] 

GUYENER B. is a sensible man ; 

He stays to his home an' looks arter 
his folks ; 
He draws his furrer ez straight ez he can, 
An' into nobody's tater-patch pokes ; 
But John P. 
Robinson he 
Sez he wunt vote fer Guvencr B. 

My ! aint it terrible ? Wat shall we dn ? 
We can't never choose him o' course, 
— thet'sflat; 
Guess we shall hev to come round, (don't 
you ?) 
An' go in fer thunder an' guns, an' all 
that; 
Fer John P. 
Robinson he 
Sez he wunt vote fer Guvener B, 

Gineral C. is a dreffle smart man : 
He 's ben on all sides thet give places 

or pelf ; 
But consistency still wuz a part of his 

plan, — 



He *B ben true to one party, — an* thet 
is himself ; — 
So John P. i 

Robinson he 
Sec he shall vote fer Gineral C. 

Gineral C. he ffoes in fer the war ; 
He don't vally principle more 'n an 
old cud ; 
Wat did God make us raytional creetnn 
fer, I 

But glory an' gunpowder, plunder an' 
blood? 
So John P. 
Robinson he 
Sez he shall vote fer Gineral C. 



We were gittin* on nicely up here to onr 
village, 
With good old idees o' wut's right tu' 
wut aint, 

We kind o' thought Christ weot agin i 
war an* pillage. 
An' thet eppyletts wom't the best , 
mark of a saint ; j 

But John P. ' 

Robinson he 
Sez this kind o' thing 's an exploded 
idee. 

The side of onr country must oilers be 
took. 
An' Presidunt Polk, you know, Me is 
our country. 
An' the angel thet writes all our sins in 
a book 
Puts the debit to him, an* to as the 
per eontry ; 
An' John P. 
Robinson he 
Sez this is his view o' the thing to 
aT, 

Parson Wilbur he calls all these aigi- 
munts lies ; 
Sez they 're nothin' on airth but jest . 
fee, fuWffum: 
An' thet all this big talk of onr des- 
tinies 
Is half on it ign'ance, an' t' other half 
rum; 
But John P. 
Robinson he 
Sez it aint no sech thing; an', of 
course, so must we. 

1 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



,177 



Pliraon Wilbur sez A« never heerd in his 
life 
Thet th* Apostles rig^ out in their 
swaller-tail coats. 
An' marched round in front of a drum 
an' a fife. 
To git some on 'em ofiice, an* some on 
'em votes ; 
But John P. 
Robinson he 
Sez they did n't know cverythin' 
down in Judee. 

Wal, it 's a marcy we 've gut folks to 
tell us 
The lights an' the wrongs o' these 
matters, 1 vow,— 
God sends country lawyers, an' other 
wise fellers, 
To start the world's team wen it gits in 
a slough ; 
Fer John P. 
Robinson he 
Sez the world '11 go right, ef he hol- 
lers out Gee i 



rrhe attentive readlr will doubtless have 
peivefved in the forgoing poem an allusion to 
ihat pemiciouM sentiment, — "Our country, 
right or wrong." It is an abuse of language to 
call a certain portion of land, much more, cer- 
t«in personages, elevated for the time being to 
high station, our country. I would not sever 
nor lootien a single one of those ties by which 
we are united to the spot of our birth, nor niin- 
tsh by a tittle the respect due to the Magis- 
trate. I love our own Bay State too well to do 
the one, and as for the other, I have myself for 
nigh forty years exercised, however unworthily, 
the fnnction of Justice of the Peace, having 
been called thereto by the unsolicited kindness 
of that most excellent man and upright ]«triot, 
Caleb Strong. Patritr. yWmiu igne alieno lucu- 
Itntior is best qualified with this. — Uhi Hher- 
tan, Ihi patrta. We are inhabitants of two 
worlds, and owe a double, but not a divided 
allegiance. In virtue of our clay, this little ball 
of earth exacts a certain loyalty of us. while, in 
our capacity as spirits, we are admitted citizens 
of an invisible and holier Mherland. There is 
a patriotism of the snnl whose claim absolves 
us from our other and terrene fealty. Our true 
country is that ideal realm which we represent 
to oarsetves under the names of religion, duty, 
and the Tfke. Our terrestrial organizations are 
bnt far^ff approaches to so foir a nio<lel. and 
all they are verily traitors who resist not any 
attempt to divert them froni this their ori^sinal 
Intendment When, therefore, one would have 
ns to fling up our caps and shout with the mul- 
^tnde. — " Chir country, hotpever bounded ! ** he 
demands of us that we sacrifice the larger to the 
less, the higher to the lower, and that we vield 
to tJie imaginary claims of a few acres of soil 
onr doty and privilege as liegemen of Truth. 



Our true country is bounded on the north and 
the south, on the east and tlie west, by Justice, 
and when she oversteps that invisiblv iMniiHlnry- 
line by so much as a nair's-breadth, she ceases 
to be our mother, and chooses ratlier to lie 
looked uiion quati novena. That is a hard 
choice when our earthly love of couutry calls 
upon us to tread one path and our duty points 
us to another. We must make as noble and 
becoming an election as did Penelope between 
Icarius and Ulysses. Veiling our faces, we 
must take ailentiy the hand of Duty to follow 
her. 

Shortly after tlie publication of the foregoing 
poem, there api)eared some comments upon it 
in one of the public prints which seemed to 
call for animadversion. I accordingly addressed 
to Mr. Buckingham, of the Boston Ck>urier, the 
following letter. 



If 



Jaalam, November 4, 1347. 



(« 



To tAs EdUoT of the Courier: 



** Respected Sir, — Calling at the post-office 
this morning, our worthy and efficient postma.s- 
ter offered for my perusal a iMtragrapli in the 
Boston Morning Post of the 3d instant, where'n 
certain elTbsions of the pastoral muse are at- 
tributed to the pen of Mr. James Russell Low- 
ell For aught I know or can affirm to the 
contrary, this Mr. Lowell may be a very de- 
serving person and a youth of parts (though I 
have seen verses of his which 1 could never 
rightly understand) ; and if he be such, he. I 
am certain, as well as I, would be trw ttom any 
proclivity to appropriate to himself whatever 
of credit (or discreait) may honestly belong to 
another. I am confident, that, in iienning 
these few lines, I am only forestalling a dis- 
claimer IVom that young gentleman, whose 
silence hitherto, when rumor pointed tt) him« 
ward, has excited in my bosom mingled emo- 
tions of sorrow and surprise Well may mv 
young pariahiouer, Mr. Biglow, exclaim with 
the poet, 

* 8le Tos noo vobls,' ae. i 

though, in saying this, I would not convey the 
impression that he is a proficient in the Lstin 
tongue. — the tongue, I might add, of a Horace 
and a Tully. 

"Mr. B. does not employ his pen, I can 
safely say, for any lucre of worldlv gain, or to 
be exalted by the carnal phiudita of men, ifipfto 
monrtrari, Ac. He does not wait upon Provi- 
dence for mercies, and in his heart mean fserufs. 
But I should esteem myself as verily deficient 
in my duty (who am his friend and in some un- 
worthy sort his spiritual fdv$ Achates, &c.). if 
I did not step forward to claim for him what- 
ever meoRure of applause might be assigned to 
him by the Judicious. 

" If this were a fitting occasion, I might ven- 
ture here a brief dissertation touching the 
manner and kind uf my young friend's ])oetry. 
But I (lubitate whether this almtniser sort of 
si>eculation (though enlivened by 8omeai>^K)site 
instances from Aristophanes) would suflioiently 
interest your oppidan readers. As regards their 
satirical tone, and their plainness of si^eech. I 
will only sav, that, in my past/^ral experience, 
I have found that the Arch-Enemy loves noth- 
ing better than to be treated as a religious. 



178 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



moral, and mtellectnal being, and that there ta 
no ajHige Hathuncu ! no itutcutaa ridicule. But 
It is a kind of weapon that tuuiit have a button 
of good-nature on the ituint oi' It 

" Tlie itroductioiu uf Mr. B. have been atlg- 
niatiied in some quarters as uniiatriotic : but 
I can vouch that he loveii liis native anil with 
that hearty, though diMcriminating, attariiment 
which flpnugs from an intimate social inter- 
course of ninny years' ittanding. In the plough- 
ing season, no one hsa a deeper share in the 
well-Iieing nf the country than he. If Dean 
Hwift were riglit In saying that he who makes 
two Itladcs or grass grow where one grew Itefore 
confers a greater benefit on tlie state than he 
wiio taketh a city. Mr. R might exhibit a fairer 
claim to the Presidency than General Scott 
himself. I think that some of those disintei^ 
este<l lovers of the hard-handed democracy, 
whose Angers have never touched anything 
rougher than tlie dollars of our common coun- 
trj'. would hesitate to com|iare |»alms with him. 
It would do your heart good, respected Sir, to 
see that young man mow. He cuta a cleaner 
and wider swath than any in this town. 

" But it is time for nie to he at my Post It 
Is very clear that my young friend's shot has 
stnick the lintel, for the Post is shaken (Amos 
ix. I). The editor of thai pajter Is a strenuous 
adviNwte of tlie Mexican war, and a colonel, aa 
I am given to understand. I presume, that, 
being necessarily alnent in Mexico, he has left 
his Jounial in some less Judicious hands. At 
any rate, the Post has lieen too swift on this 
(H*casion It could hardly have cited a more 
inrontmvertible line fh>m any itoem than that 
which it lias selected for anlmaa version, name- 
l.v. - 

• We kind o' thoofht Christ went s«ln war an* pIK 
lagc. 

*' If the Poat maintains the converse of this 
)in>it<)Kition, it rnn h.inlly lie ronsldcred as a 
safe gu{dc-|)4)st for the moral and religious )K»r- 
tions of its party, however many other excel- 
lent qualities of a iKist it ntay Iw blesNcri with. 
Tlicre is a Hign in liOn«lon on which Is painted, 
— *Tlie Orwm Man.' It would do very well as 
a )iortrait nf any iudividiul who would support 
so unNcri]>tural a thesis. A.* rc^rrls the lan- 
cunge nf the line in question. I am tM>ld to say 
thnt He who ivndeth the hearts of men will not 
account any dialect unseemly which conveys a 
sound and pious sentiment I could wish that 
surh sentiments were more common, however 
iiiicoulhly expressed. Saint Ambrose afflmts. 
that vtrikia n q^tocnntgw (why not, then, quo- 
vunlocuwive .'i dinatvr, a $p{ritn mrncto tst. Di- 
gest also this of Baxter : * The plainest words 
.ire tlie most prt>fltable oratory In the weightiest 
mattei-s.' 

•• Wlien the paragraph In question was shown 
to Mr. Biglow, the only part of It which 8eenie<l 
to give him an)* dissatisfaction waa that which 
classed him with the Whig party. He says, 
tliat, if resolutions are a nourishing kind of 
diet, tliat party must be In a very hearty and 
flourishing condition ; for that they have qui- 
etly eaten more good ones of their own baking 
thiin he could have conceived to be )x>ssible 
without i-e]»letion. He has been for some years 
l»a«t (I regret to say) an anient op]>onent of 
tliose sound doctrines of protective policy which 



form so prominent a portion of the creed of that 
luirty. I confess, Uiat, in sonte diM*n.'«ioiis 
which I have had with him on tliis iioiut in my 
study, he hsa displayed a vein of ohstiiuu-y 
which I bad not hitherto detected in his com- 
|io8ition. He is also {horrtatsx> rejtrtiu) infrcUii 
HI no small measure with the peculiar notions 
of a print called the Liberator, whose here*iie» 
I take every proper opimrtuuity of cnnilatin^ 
and of which, I thank Ood, I have never read a 
single line. 

" I did not se« Mr. B.'s veraea nntil they a)i- 
peared in print ^nd there is certainly one tiiiiiK 
in them which I consider highly impnq>er. I 
allude to the i^ersonal references to myself liy 
name. To confer notoriety on an hnnii4o imlt- 
vidual who is laboring quietly In his voratioo. 
and who keeps his cloth as free as he can fWsii 
the dost of the political arena (tlioiigli mr miki 
si non 9van/gdxtavtro\ Is no doubt an inden>- 
rum. The sentiments which he attributes to 
me I will not deny to be mine. They wtriv em- 
bodied, though In a diflerent form. In a (li.<»- 
course ]>reached upon the hut day of )»uUlir 
fasting, and were acceptable to my entire \n*- 
pie (of whatever political vicws^. excr-pt tiie 
jiostmaster, who dissented ear ojRcio I oliaene 
that you sometimes devote a iiortion of your 
)ia}wr to a religious summary. 1 ahould be veil 

f)leased to ftiniiab a copy of my disconrae for 
nsertion in tills department of your instructive 
Journal. By omitting the advertisements, it 
might easily lie got within the liraitaof a siiij:le 
numlier, and I venture to Insure you thf sale 
of tome scores of copies in this town. I will 
cheerAilly render myself responsible for ten 
It might possibly be advantageous to issue ii 
as an extra. But )ierhapA you will not esteem 
it an oUiect, and I will not press it My oflcr 
does not spring troxw any weak desire of seeing 
my name in print ; for I can enJny this K.iti«- 
fhction at any time by tnming to the Triennial 
(^taloeiie of the Univereity. where it also |<vi- 
sesseH that added emphasis of Italics witli which 
those of my calling are distinguished. 

" 1 would simpiv afld. that I continue to Qt 
ingenuous youth for college, ami that I hat-e 
two spacious and airy sleeping apartment at 
this moment unoccupied. Ingenwu tlUlirisie, 
Ac. Terms, which vary arconling to the cir- 
cumstances of the parents, may lie known oo 
application to me ny letter, poat-i«i4 In »II 
cases the lad will be expected to fetch his own 
towels. Tliis nile, Mrs^ W. desires me to add, 
haa no exceptions. 

" RespectAilly, your obedient serrant. 

"HOMER WILBUR, A. M. 

*• P. 8. Perhaps the hut paragraph msy look 
like an attempt to obtain tlie insertion of my 
circular gratuitously. If it should api^eir to 

frou in that light, I desire that j'on would era'«e 
t, or charge for It at the usual rotes, and de- 
duct tlie amount ttom the iirocoe<ls in your 
hands nrom the sale of my aiscounie, when it 
shall be printed. My circular Is much longer 
and more explicit and will lie forwarded with- 
out charge to any who may desire it It has 
lieen very neatly exetruted on a letter sheet by 
a very deserving printer, who attends u)ion my 
ministry, and is a creditable sfiecimen of the 
typographic art I have one hung over lur 
lunutel-piece in a neat fteuie, where it makes a 



J 



THE BIG1X)W PAPERS. 



179 



betntlftil and appropriate ornament, and bal- 
auceb the profile of Mm. W., v.nt with )ier t^ies 
by the yoiuig lady bom witliout annii. 

•' H. W." 



I have in the forgoing letter mentioned Oen- 
eral Soott in connection with the Presidency. 
liei»nse 1 have been given to understand that 
he has blown to piecea and otherwise caused 
to lie destroyed more Mexicans than any other 
roniiiinnder. Uia claim wonid therefore he de- 
seirrdly considered the strongest. Until accn- 
Tato returns of the Mexicjuis killed, wounded, 
and nuiimed be obtained, it will be difficult to 
settle these nice ))oints of i)rc<^edence. Should 
it pmve tliat any other officer has been more 
lucritorious and destructive than General 8.. 
and has thereby rendered himself more worthy 
of the confidence and support of the conserva- 
tr\'e imrtion of onr community, 1 shall cheer- 
fiilly insert his name, iustewl or that of General 
S.. in a ftitnre edition. It maybe thoucht. like- 
wise, that General 8. has invalidated his claims 
by too much attention to the decencies of ap- 
rairel. and the habits lielonging to a gentleman. 
Tiiese alistnuer )x>lnte of statesmanship are be- 
yond my scope. I wonder not that succeasftil 
military achievement should attract the admi- 
ration of the multitude. Rather do I rejoice 
with wonder to behold how rapidly this senti- 
ment Is losing ita hold npon the popular mind. 
H is related of Thomaa Warton. the second of 
that honored name who held the office of Poe- 
try Professor at Oxford, tliat. when one wished 
to find him, being absconded, as was his wont. 
In some obacnre alehouse, he was counselled to 
traverse the city with a drum and fife, the 
sound of which inspiring music would lie sure 
to draw the Dr»ctor fh>m his retirement into 
the street We are all more or less bitten with 
this martial insanity. Neiteio qua dttZeedine 
.... CMnc^ dueU. I confess to some infec- 
tion of tltat itch myself. When I see a Briga- 
dier-General maintaining his insecure elevation 
in the saddle nnder the severe Are of the train- 
ing-field, and when I remember that some mil- 
itai7 enthnsiastfi. throush haste. Inexperience, 
or an over-desire to lend reality to those flcti- 
tlotis comlnta, will sometimes discliaiige their 
nmrods, I cannot but admire, while T deplore, 
the misteken devotion of those heroic officers. 
Snul {}i«inir£iiiiiff omruM. I was myself, dur- 
ing tlie late war with Great Britain, clmplnln 
I of a regiment, which was fortunately never 
< railed to a<'tive military duty. I mention this 
circnmxtance with regret rather than pride. 
Had I lieen snmmone<l to actual warfare. I 
trust that 1 mlKht have been strengthened to 
bear myself after the manner of that reverend 
fiither in onr New England Israel, Dr. Bei\ja- 
niin Colman, who, as we are told inTurell's life 
of him. when the vessel in which he had taken 
]iassage fur England was attacked by a French 
privateer, " fought like a philosopher and a 
Cliristian, .... and prayed all tne while he 
charged and ilred.** As this note is already 
lofig, I shall not here enter upon a discussion 
of tlie question, whether Christians may law- 
tnWy be soldiers. I think it sufficiently evi- 
dent, that, during the first two centuries of the 
CliriKti;m era. at least, the two )>n>fessions 
were esteemed incompatible. Consult Jortiu 
onthlshead.— H. W.J 



No. IV. 



REXARK8 OP INCREASE D. O^PHACE, E8- 
QUIHK, AT AN KXTRUMPERT CAUCUS* IN 
STATE STREET, REPORTED BT MR. H. 
BIOLOW. 

[Tnk Ingenious reader will at once understand 
that no such s^ieetth as tlie following was ever 
iotidttn vertiit ]trononnced. But there ni-e sim- 
pler and less giuirded wita, for the satisfying of 
which such an explanation may be needful. 
For there are certain invisible lines, which as 
Truth successively ovcrj^asses, she becomes 
Untruth to one and another of us, as a laiige 
river, flowing fh)m one kingdom into another, 
sometimes takes a new name, albeit the waters 
undergo no change, how small soever. There 
is, moi'eover, a truth of fiction more veraciouH 
than the truth of fact, as that of the Poet, 
which repreaeuto to us things and events ns 
they ought to be, rather tlian servilely copies 
them as tliey ore imperfectly imaged in tlte 
crooked and smoky glass of our mundane afluirs. 
It is this which makes the speech of Aiitonius. 
though originally spoken iu no wider a forum 
than the brain of Shakespeare, more histori- 
cally valiuible than that other which Appinn 
has re)K)rted, by as much as the understanding 
of the Englishman was more comprehensive 
than that of the Alexandrian. Mr. Biglow, in 
the present instance, has only made use of a 
license assumed by all the historians of antiq- 
uity, who put into the mouths of various char- 
acters such words as seem to them most fitting 
to the occasion and to the speaker. If it 1>e 
objected that no such oration could ever have 
been delivered, J answer, that there arc few 
asaenibl.ages for speech-making which do not 
better deserve the title of Parliamentwn Jn^fnr- 
torvm than did the sixth Parliament of Henr>' 
the Fourth, and that men still continue to luive 
as much faith in the Oracle of Fools as ever 
FnqtAgruel had. Howell, in his letters, re- 
counta a merry taie of a certain amltassador nf 
Queen Elisalieth. who, having written two let- 
ters, — one to her Majesty, and the other to his 
wife, — directwl them at croas-pnrpO!»e.«c. so that 
the Queen was beducked and l>edeare«i and re- 
queste<l to send a change of hose, and the wife 
was lieprincessed and otherwise imwontedly 
besuiierlatived, till the one feared for the wits 
of her ambasaarlor. and the other for those of 
her huslxmd. In like manner it may be pre- 
sumed that our si>eaker has misdirecteil some 
of his thoughta, and given to the whole theatre 
what he woTild have wished to confide only tx> 
a select auditory at the back of the curtain. 
For it is seldom that we can get any frank ut- 
terance from men, who address, for the most 
part, a Buncombe either in this world or the 
next As for their audiences, it may lie tnily 
said of our people, that they enjoy one ]»oliti(>al 
institution in common with the ancient Athe- 
nians : I mean a certain profitless kind of o<itm- 
cisia, wiierewith, nevertheless, they seein hitli- 
erto well enough content. For in Presidcntijil 
election.s, and other affairs of tlie sort, whercw 
I observe timt the ojfMtnrn fall to the lot of cotn- 
pnmtively few. the shelln (niich an tlie priviU-^s 
of voting as they are tiild to do by the oatniy,- i 
aforesaid, and of huzzaing at public meetinics) 



180 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



are veiy liberally distributed tanong the people, 
ax tteing their prescriptive and quite nulHcient 
portion. 

The occasion of the speech is supposed to bo 
Mr. Palftvy's reftisol to vote for tlie Whig can- 
didate for the Speakership. — U. W.J 

No? Hez hel He haint, though? 

Wut? Voted agin him ? 
£f the bird of our country could ketch 

him, she *d akin him ; 
I seem 's though I see her, with wrath 

in each quill, 
Like a chancery lawyer, afilin* her bill, 
An' giindin' her talents ez sharp ez all 

nater. 
To pounce like a writ on the back o* the 

traitor. 
Forgive me, my friends, ef 1 seem to be 

het, 
But a crisis like this must with vigor be 

met; 
Wen an Arnold the star-spangled ban- 
ner bestains, 
Holl Fourth o* Julys seem to bile in my 

veins. 

Who ever 'd ha* thought ssch a pisonous 

ri<' 
Would be run by a chap thet wuz chose 

fer a Wig ? 
"We knowcS wiit his principles wnz 

'fore we sent him ? " 
Wut vrwz ther in them from this vote to 

prevent him ? 
A maiviful Providunce fashioned us hol- 
ler 
0' purpose thet we might our principles 

8 waller ; 
It can hold any quantity on *em, the 

Iwlly can, 
An' bring 'em up read^' fer use like the 

pelican, 
Or more like the kangaroo, who (wich is 

stranger) 
Puts her family into her pouch wen 

there *s danger. 
Aint principle precious ? then, who *s 

goin' to use it 
Wen there *8 resk o' some chap's gittin' 

np to abuse it ? 
I can't toll the wy on *t, but nothin* is 

90 sure 
£z thet principle kind o* gits spiled by 

exposure ; * 

* The speaker is of a diffprent mind ftom 
Twlly, who, in his recently discovered tractate 
De Repiiblioaf tells us, — Nee vero habere virtu- 



A man thet lets all sorts o* folks git a 

sight on 't 
Ough' to hev it all took right away, 

every mite on 't ; 
Ef he can't keep it all to himself wtn 

it 's wise to, 
He aint one it 's fit to trust nothin' so 

nice to. 

Besides, ther 's a wonderful power in ^ 
latitude 

To shift a man's morril relations an* at- 
titude ; 

Some flossifers think tliet a fakkilty *i 
granted 

The niinnit it 's proved to be thoroughly 
wanted, 

Thet a change o' demand makes a change 
o' condition. 

An' thet everythin* *8 nothin' except by 



rition ; 
ii 



Ez, fer instance, thet rubber-trees fust 

begun bearin' 
Wen p'litikle conshunces come iiito 

wearin', — 
Thet the fears of a monkey, whose bolt 

chanced to fail, 
Drawed the vertibiy out to a prehensile 

tail; 
So, wen one 's chose to Congriss, ez soon 

ez he *s in it, 
A collar gix>ws right ronnd his neck in a 

minnit, 
An' sartin it is thet a man cannot be 

strict 
In bein' himself, wen he gits to the 

Deestrict, 
Fer a coat thet sets wal here in ole Mas* 

snchusetts, 
Wen it gits on to Washinton, somehow 

askew sets. 

Besolves, do you say, o' the Springfield 

Convention I 
Thet 's percisely the pint I was goin' to 

mention ; 

tern $cMe ett, qutigi artem aWpia'm. nisi i>U>Tt„ 
and ftt»ni our Milton, who saj-*: "1 wnnot 
praise a fugitive and cloi-ttered virtue, unexer- 
cised and unbreathed, that never sallies out 
and sees her adversary, but slinks out of il»e 
race where that immortal garl.ind is to lie mn 
for. not trithoHt duet and hmt.'* — Areop. He 
had taken the words out of the Roman's mouth, 
without knowing it, and might well exclsim 
with Austin (If a saint's name may stand spon- 
sor for a curse), Pereani gwi anU not mo$tra 
duferi»U/ — H. W. 



1 

I 



THE 6IGL0W PAPEB& 



181 



Bcflolves air a thing we most gen*ally 

keep Ul, 
They 're a cheap kind o' diut fer the 

eyes o* the {leople ; 
A parcel o' delligits jest git together 
An chat fer a spell o' the crops au' the 

weather, 
Then, comin' to order, they squabble 

awile 
An' let off the speeches they 're ferful '11 

spile ; 
Then — Resolve, — Thet we wunt hev 

an inch o' idave territory ; 
Thet President Polk's holl (Msrceedins air 

very tory ; 
Thet the war is a damned war, an' them 

thet enlist in it 
Shonld her a cravat with a dreffie tight 

twist in it ; 
Thet the war is a war fer the spreadin' 

o' slavery ; 
Thet our army desarves our best thanks 

fer their bravery ; 
Thet we 're the original friends o' the 

nation. 
All tlie rest air a paltry an' base fabrica- 
tion; 
Thet we highly respect Messrs. A, B, an* 

C, 
An' ez deeply despise Messrs. £, F, an' G. 
In this way they go to the eend o' the 

chapter. 
An' then they host out in a kind of a 

raptur 
About their own vartoo, an' folks's 

stone-blindness 
To the men thet 'ould actilly do *em a 

kindness, — 
The American eagle,— the Pilgrims thet 

landed, — 
Till on ole Plymouth Rock they git 

finally stranded. 
Wal, the people they listen an' say, 

** Thet *8 the ticket ; 
Ez fer Mexico, 't aint no great glory to 

lick it, 
Bat 't would be a darned shame to go 

pnllin* o' triggers 
To extend the aree of abnsin' the nig- 

gers. 

So they march in percessions, an' git up 

hooraws. 
An' tramp thru the mud fer the good o' 

the cause 
An' think they 'i-e a kind o' fulfillin' the 

prophecies, 



Wen they 're on'y jest changin' the 
holders of offices ; 

Ware A sot afore, B is comftably seated. 

One humbug 's victor'ous an' t' other de- 
feated. 

Each houuable doughface gits jest wut 
he axes, 

An' the people, — their annooal soft- 
sodder an' taxes. 

Now, to keep unimpaired all these glo- 
rious feetnrs 
Thet characterize morril an' reasonin' 

creeturs, 
Thet give every pay triot all he can cram, 
Thet oust the untrustworthy Presidnnt 

Flam, 
An' stick honest Presidnnt Sham in his 

place. 
To the manifest gain o' the holl human 

race. 
An' to some indervidgewals on 't in 

partickler, 
Who love Public Opinion an* know how 

to tickle her, — 
I say thet a party with gret aims like 

these 
Must stick jest ez close ez a hive full o* 

bees. 

I 'm willin' a man should go tollable 

strong 
Agin wrong in the abstract, fer thet kind 

o* wrong 
Is oilers unnop'Iar an' never gits pitied, 
Because it s a crime no one never com- 
mitted ; 
But he mus' n't be hard on partickler 

sins, 
Coz then he '11 be kickin' the people's 

own sliius ; 
On'y look at the Demmercrats, see wut 

they 've done 
Jest simply by stickin' together like 

fun; 
They 've sucked us right into a mls'able 

war 
Thet no one on airth aint responsible 

for; 
They 've nin us a hundred cool millions 

in debt 
(An* fer Deramercrat Homers ther 's 

good plnms left yet); 
They talk agin tayritTs, but act fer a 

high one. 
An' so coax all parties to build up their 

Ziou; 



182 



THE BIGLOW PAPEBS. 



To the people they 're ollen ez slick ez 

molasfies, 
Au' butter their bread on both sides with 

The Masses, 
Half o' wlioin they 've peroiuuled, by way 

of a joke, 
Thet Washiuton's mantelpiece fell upon 

Polk. 

Now all o' these blessin's the Wigs 

might enjoy, 
£f they 'd gumption enough the right 

means to imploy ;* 
Fer the silver 8iKx>n bom in Dcrmoc- 

racy's mouth 
Is a kind of a scringe thet they hev to 

the South ; 
Their masters can cnas *em an' kick *em 

an* wale 'em. 
An' they notice it less 'an the ass did to 

Balaam ; 
In this way they screw into second-rate 

ofli(«s 
Wich the slaveholder thinks 'ould sub- 

stract too much off his ease ; 
The tile-leaders, I mean, du, fer they, by 

their wiles. 
Unlike the old viper, grow fat on their 

tiles. 
Wal, the Wigs hev been tr}'in' to giab 

all this prey frum 'em 
An' to hook this nice spoon o' good for- 

tin' away frum *em, 
Au' they might ha' succeeded, ez likely 

ez not, 
1u lickin' the Demmercrats all round 

the lot, 
Ef it wam't thet, wile all faithful Wigs 

were their knees on. 
Some stuffy old codger would holler out, 

— "ti-eason! 
Yon must keep a sharp eye on a dog thet 

hcz bit you once. 
An' / aint agoin' to cheat my constit- 

oounts," — 
Wen eveiy fool knows thet a man repre- 
sents 
Not the fellers thet sent him, but them 

on the fence, — 
Impartially ready to jump either side 
An' make the fust use of a turn o' the 

tide, — 
The waiters on Providunce here in the 

city, 

^ Tlint WM a pithv saying of Penilna, and Atti 
our iK)1iticiau8 without a wrinkle, — Magitier 
artU, ingeniiiiue Un-gitor venUr. — H. W. 



Who compose wut they call a State Cen- 

terl Conmiittv. 
( 'onstitoouuts air hendy to helpa nan iii, 
But arterwards don't weigh the heft of a 

pin. 
Wy, the people can't all live on Uncle 

Sam's pus, 
So they 've nothin' to da with 't fer 

better or wus ; 
It 's the folks thet air kind o' bronght 

up to depend on 't 
Thet hev any consam in 't, an' thet is the 

end on 't. 

Now here wuz New England ahevin' the 

honor 
Of a chance at the Speakership showerfd 

upon her ; — 
Do you say, — " She don't want no more 

Speakers, but fewer ; 
She 's hed ]tlenty o' them, wut she wants 

is a doer " ? 
Fer the matter o' thet, it 's notorons in 

town 
Thet her own representatives du her 

quite brown. 
But thet 's nothin' to du with it ; wut 

right hed Palfrey 
To mix himself up with fanatical small 

fry? 
Wam't we.ffittiu* on prime with our hot 

an' cold blowin*, 
Acondemnin' the war wilst we kep' it 

agoin' ? 
We 'd assumed ^-ith gret skill a cooh 

mandin' position, 
On this side or thet, no one could D*t 

tell wich one. 
So, wntever side wipped, we *d a chance 

at the plunder 
An' could sue fer infringin' our pay- 
tented thunder ; 
We were ready to vote fer whoever wni 

eligible, 
Ef on all pints at issoo he *d stay unin- 
telligible. 
Wal, spanin' we hed to gulp down onr 

perfessions, 
We were ready to come out next morn- 

in* with fresh ones ; 
Besides, ef we did, 't was our business 

alone, 
Fer could n't we du wut we would with 

our own ? 
An' ef aman can, wen pervisionshevrizso, 
Eat up his own words, it 's a maicy it 
1 is so. 



I 



I 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



183 



Wy, these chape fnim the North, with 

back-boDes to 'eni, darn 'em, 
'Ould be wuth more *au Geniile Tom 

Thumb is to Baruum : 
Ther 's enough thet to office on thU very 

plan grow. 
By exhibitin' how very small a man can 

grow; 
Bat an M. C. frum here oilers hastens to 

state he 
Belongs to the order called invertebraty, 
Wenee some gret filologists jadge primy 

fasby 
Thet M. C. is H. T. by paronomashy; 
An' these few exceptions air loosus nay' 

tury 
Folks 'ould put down their quarters to 

stare at, like fury. 

It *s no use to open the door o* success, 
£f a member can bolt so fer nothin' or 

less ; 
Wy, all o* them grand constitootional 

pillere 
Our fore-fathers fetched with 'em over 

the billers, 
Them pillers the people so soundly hev 

slep' on, 
Wile to slav'ry, invasion, an' debt they 

were swep' on, 
Wile our Destiny higher an' higher kep' 

mountin' 
(Though I guess folks '11 stare wen she 

hends her account in), 
Ef members in this way go kicken* agin 

'em. 
They wunt hev so much ez a feather left 

in 'em. 

An', ez fer this Palfrey,* we thought wen 

we 'd gut him in, 
He 'd go kindly in wutevcF harness we 

put him in ; 
8op[K)8in' we did know thet he wnz a 

peace man ? 
Doofi he think he can be Uncle Sammle's 

policeman. 
An' wen Sam gits tipsy an' kicks up a 

riot. 
Lead him off to the lockup to snooze till 

he 'r quiet ? 
Wy, the war is a war thet true paytriots 

can bear, ef 
It leads to the fat promised land of a 

tayriff; 

* There is truth yet fn this of Juvenal. — 
** Oat ranlam oorrlt, Tczat oenMiim colttmbas." 

U. W. 



We don't go an* fight it, nor alnt to be 

driv on. 
Nor Demmercrats nuther, thet hev wut 

to live on ; 
£f it aint jest the thing thet 's well 

pleasin' to God, 
It makes us thought highly on q\m\- 

where abroad ; 
The Rooshiau black eagle looks blue in 

his eerie 
An' shakes both his heads wen he heai^ 

o' Monteery; 
In the Tower Victory sets, all of a fl.is- 

ter, 
An' reaiis, with locked doors, how we 

won Cherry Buster ; 
An' old Philip Lewis — thet come an' 

kep' school here 
Fer the mere sake o* scorin* his ryalist 

ruler 
On the tenderest part of our kings in 

futaro — 
Hides his crown underneath an old shut 

in his bureau, 
Breaks off in his brags to a suckle o' 

merry kings. 
How he often hed hided young native 

Amerrikins, 
An' turnin' quite faint in the midst of 

his fooleries, 
Sneaks down stairs to bolt the front 

door o' the Tooleries.* 
You say, — " We 'd ha' scared 'em by 

growin' in peace, 
A plaguy sight more then by bobberies 

like these " ? 
Who is it dares say thet our naytioiial 

eagle 

* Jortin ia wiUing to allow of other tnlraclea 
beaidea thoae recoraed In Holy Writ, and wliy 
not of other prophecleaf It la granting too 
much to Batan to auppose him, aa diven of the 
learned have done, tlie inaplrer of the aiii'teiit 
oraclea. Wiser. I eateeiu it, to give chance tlie 
credit of the aacceaarul ouea. What ia Huid 
here of Loula Philippe waa verifled in unme of 
ita minute (larticulara within a few months' 
time. Enough to have made the fortune of 
Delphi or Hauiinon. and no tliHiilcs to I3t>flzu- 
bub neither! That of 8eueca in Medea will 
auit here : — 

" Rapida f ortuna ac levit 
Praoeptque refoo erlpuit, cxtillo dcdlt." 

Let ns allow, even to richly deserved misfor- 
tune, our comraiaeration. and be not ovpr-li;M*y 
meanwhile in ourcenaure of the French )teoMle, 
left for the ftrst time to govern themMolves. re- 
membering tliat wise aentenc^ of .£scliylus, - 

H. W. 



L„. 



184 



THE BIGLOW PAPEB& 



Wun't much lon^r be classed with the 

birds thet air regal, 
Coz theim be hook^l beaks, an' she, 

arter this slaughter, 
*11 bring back a bill ten times longer 'u 

she ough' to " 7 
Wut *8 your name ? Come, I see ye, you 

up-couutry feller. 
You 've put me out seyeril times with 

your beller ; 
Out with it ! Wutf Biglow? I say 

nothin' furder, 
Thet feller would like nothin* better 'n a 

murder j 
He *s a traiter, blasphemer, an' vnit 

ruther woi'se is, 
He puts all his ath'ism in dreffle bad 

verses ; 
Socity aint safe till sech monsters air out 

on it, • 
Refer to the Post, ef you her the least 

doubt on it; 
Wy, he goes agin war, agin indirect 

taxes, 
Agin sellin' wild lands 'cept to settlers 

with axes, 
Agin holdin' o* slaves, though he knows 

it 's the comer 
Our libbaty rests on, the mis'able 

scomer ! 
In short, he would wholly upset with 

his ravages 
All thet keeps us above the brute crit- 
ters an' savages, 
An' pitch into all kinds o' briles an' 

confusions 
The holl of our civilized, free institu- 
tions; 
He writes fer thet mther unsafe print, 

the Courier, 
An' likely ez not hez a squintin' to 

Fooiier ; 
I '11 be , thet is, I mean I '11 be 

blest, 
Ef I hai'k to a word frum so noted a 

pest ; 
I sha' n't talk with hiin, my religion 's 

too fervent. — 
Good nioniin', my friends, 1 'm your 

most humble servant. 

ffiito the qneKtion, whether the ability to ex* 
]ii-eHM ouroelves in arttcuUte languaj^e has been 
liroduftlve of moregmwl or evil,! Khali not here 
enter at lari^e. The two faculties of speech and 
of Hpeech-niaking are wholly diverse in their 
natures. By the Arat we make ourselves fntel- 
ligibl**, by the laHt unintelligible, t/> our fellows. 
It haa not seldom occurred to me (noting how 



In our iuitl<nud Ifslslatim everything rans to 
talk, as lettucea. If the season or the soil be 
unpropiUoos, shoot up lankly to seed, instead 
of (bnning handsome heads) that Babel was 
the ttmt Congress, the earliest mill erected for 
the manafkctnre of gabble. In these da>% 
what with Town Meetuigs. School O^mmlttees, 
Boards (lumber) of one kind and another. Coa- 
creKHes. Parliaments, Diets, Indian Coum-ik, 
Palavers, and the like, there is scarce a village 
which has not its Cftctoriea of tliia description 
driven by (milk-and-) water power. I cannot 
cont^eive the conftiaion of tongues to have bc«Q 
tlie curse of Babel, since I esteem my ignoraiice 
of other languages as a kind of If arteliotoirer, 
in which I am safe fh>m the furious bombard- 
ments of foreign garrulity. For this reation I 
have ever prefemNi the study of the dead lan- 
guages, those primitive formations being An- 
rata upon whose silent peaks I sit Kcrure and 
watch this new deluge without fear, though it 
rain flffures {simvlaera, semblaneeai) of siieech 
forty davs and nights together, as it not un- 
commonly happens. Thus is my coat, as it 
were, wltliout buttons by which any but a ver- 
nacular wild bore can aeixe me. Is it not pos- 
sible that the Shakers may intend to convey a 
quiet re]>roof and hint, in fastening Uieir outer 
garments witli hooks and eyes? 

This reflection concerning Babel, which I 
find hi no Commentary, was first thrown upon 
my mind when an excellent deacon of my con- 
gregation (being infected with the Second Ad- 
vent delusion) assured me tliat he had receivrd 
a first instalment of the gift of tongues as a 
small earnest of larger possessions in the like 
kind to follow. For, of a truth. I eould not 
reconcile it with my ideas of the Divine Justice 
and mercy that the single wall which itrotected 
people of other languages from the incursions 
of this otherwise well-meaning propagandist 
should be broken down. 

In reading Congressional debates, T have ftn- 
cled, that, after the subsidence of those painftil 
buzzinjsB in the brain which result ttonx such 
exercises, I detected a slender residuum of val- 
uable inforroation. I nubde the discovery tiiat 
nothing takes longer in the saying than anything 
else, for as ex nihilo nihil fit, so from one poly- 
pus nothing any number of similar ones may be 
pmduced. I would recommend to the attention 
of viva voce debaters and controversialists the 
admirable example of the monk Copra, who, 
in the fourth century, stood for half an honr 
in the midst of a great fire, and thereby silenced 
a ManlchiR?tan antagonist who had less of the 
solaiiuuider in him. As for those who quarrel 
In print. I have no concern with them hers, 
since the eyelids are a divinely granted shield 
against all anch. Moreover, I have observed 
in many modem books that the printed )iortion 
is becoming gradually smaller, and the number 
of bUtnk or fly-leaves (aa tliey are called) great- 
er. Should this fortunate tendency of litera- 
ture continue, books will grow more valuable 
fh^m year to year, and the whole Serboniaa bog 
yield to the advances of firm arable land. 

The sagacious Lacediemoniaus hearing thai 
Tesephone had bragged tliat he could talk all 
day long on any given subject, made no more 
ado, but forthwith banished him, whereby they 
supplied him a topic and at the same time took 
care that his experiment upon it should be tried 
out of ear-shot 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



185 



I baTe wcmdeTed, in the HeprewnUtiTM* ' 
Chamber of our own Coramonwealth, to mark 
how little impreMion seemed to be produced | 
by thet emblematic fish BUitpended over the 
heads of the meniben. Our wiser anoeatora, 
no doubt, hung it there as being the animal 
wbich the P3rthagorean8 reverenced for its al- 
ienee, and which certainly in that particular 
does not so well merit tlie epithet oocd-Moortof, , 
b^ which naturalista distinguish it« aa oertain , 
bipeds, afflicted with ditch-water on the brain, ' 
who take occasion to tap themselves in Fau- 
euil HaUs, meeting-houses, and other places of 
pobUc resort— Jl W.] 



No. V. 
THE DEBATE IN THE SENNIT. 

80T TO A KUSBT RHTMB. 

(Tii« hieident which gave rise to the debate 
ntiriaed in the following verses waa tlie un- 
sncceasftil attempt of Drayton and Sayres to 

gve fteedom to seventy men and women, fel- 
w-beingB and fellow-Christiana. Had Tripoli, 
instead of Waahington, been the scene of this 
undertaking, the unhappy leaders in it would 
have been aa secure of the theoretic as they 
now are of the practical part of martyrdom. 1 
question whether the Dey of Tripoli Is blessed 
with a District Attorney so beniighted as ours 
at the seat of government Veiv titlv is he 
named Key, who would allow himself to be 
made the Instrument of locking the door of 
hope againat aufferers in such a cause. Not all 
the waters of the ocean can cleanse the vile 
smutch of the Jaller^s fingers from off that little 
Key. Ahenea davU, a brazen Key Indeed I 

Mr. Calhoun, who ia made the chief speaker 
to thia burleaqne, seems to think that the light 
of the nineteenth century ia to be put out as 
loon aa he tinkles his little cow-bell curfew. 
Whenever slavery is touched, he sets up his 
scarecrow of dissolving the Union. This may 
do for the North, but f should conjecture that 
stmjetiiing more than a pumpkin-lantern is re- 
qaired to scare manifest and irretrievable Des- 
tiny ont of her path. Mr. Calhoun cannot let 
go the apnm-string of the Past The Fast is a 
good nurse, but we must be weaned twin her 
sooner or later, even though, like Plotinus, we 
should run home from schiiol to ask the breast, 
after we are tolerably well-grovni youtha. It 
will not do for us to hide our facea in her lap, 
whenever the strange Future holds out her 
arms and aaka us to come to her. 

But we are all alike. We have all heard it 
■aid, often enough, tluit little boys must not 
play with Are ; and yet, if the matches be taken 
away from us, and put out of reach u)K>n the 
shelf, we must needs get into nur little comer, 
and scowl and stamp and threaten the dire re- 
venin of going to bed without our supper. The 
world shall stop till we get our dan^rous pUiy- 
thing again. Dame Earth, meanwhile, who has 
niore than enough hoiuehold matters to mind, 
goes bustling hither and thither as a hiss or a 
sputter tells her that thia or that kettle of hers 
is boiling over, and before bedtime we are glad 



to eat our porridge cold, and gulp down our , 
dignity along with It 

Mr. Calhoun has somehow acauired the name 
of a great stateaman, and, if It be great statea- 
manahip to put lance in re^t and run a tilt at 
the Hpirit of the Age with the certainty of be- 
ing next moment hurled neck and heels into 
the dust amid univemal laughter, he deserves 
the title. He ia the Sir Kav of our modem 
chivalry. He should remerouer the old Scan- 
dinavisin mythus. Tlior was the strongest of 
gods, but he could not wrestle with Time, nor 
so much aa lift up a fold of the great snake 
which knit the universe together: and when 
he smote the Earth, though with his terrible 
mallet, it waa but as if a leaf hatl fallen. Yet 
all the while It seemed to Thor that he had 
only been wrestling with an old woman, striv- 
ing to lift a cat, and striking a stupid giant on 
the head. 

And in old times, doubtless, the gianta mere 
stupid, and there was no better s}>ort fur the 
Sir Launrelots and Sir Oawains than to go 
about cutting off their great blundering lieaOs 
with enchanted swords. But things have won- 
derfully changed, it ia the gianta. nowadays, 
that have the science and the intelligence, 
while the chivalrous Don Quixotes of Conserva- 
tism still cumber themselves with the clumsy 
amior of a bygone age. On whirls the restless 
globe through unsounded time, with its cities 
and Its silences, its births and ftiuerels, half 
light half shade, but never wholly dark, and 
sure to swing round Into the happy morning 
at last With an involuntary smile, one sees 
Mr. Calhoun letting slip his pack-thread cable 
with a crooked pin at the end of it to anchor 
South Carolina upon the bank and shoal of the 
Past— H. W.] 



TO MR BUCKENAM. 

MR. Editer. As i waz kinder pranin 
round, in a little nussry sot out a year or 
2 a go. the Dbait in the sennit cum int.er 
mv mine An so i toolc & Sot it to wut I 
call a nussry rime. I hev made sum onna- 
ble Gentlemun speak that dident speak in 
a Kind uv Poetikul lie sense the seeson u 
dreffle backerd up This way 

ewers as nshul 

HOSEA BIOLOW. 

"Hebe we stan* on the Constitution, by 
thunder ! 
It *B a fact o' wich ther 's bushils o* 
proofs ; 
Fer how could we trample on 't so, I 
wonder, 
£f 't wom't Ihet it *b oilers under our 
hoofs ? " 
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he ; 
"Human rights haint no more 
Right to come on this floor, 
No more 'n the man in the moon," 
sez he. 



186 



THE BIGLOW PAPEBS. 



"The North haint no kind o' bisness 
with nothing 
An' you 've no idee how much bother 
it saves ; 
We aint none riled by their frettin' an' 
frothin', 
We *re used to layin' the string on our 
slaves," 
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he ; — 
Sez Mister Foote, 
'* I should like to shoot 
The holl gang, by the gret horn 
spoon ! " sez he. 

"Freedom's Keystone is Slavery, thet 
ther 's no doubt on. 
It 's sutthin' thet 's— wha' d' ye call 
it ? — divine, — 
An' the slaves thet we oilers mcike the 
most out on 
Air them north o' Mason an' Dixon's 
line," 
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he ; — 
" Fer all thet," sez Mangum, 
"'T would be better to hang 'em. 
An* so git red on 'em soon," sez he. 

** The mass ough* to labor an' we lay on 
soflies, 
Thet 's the reason I want to spread 
Freedom's aree ; 
It puts all the cunninest on us in office, 
An' reelises our Maker's orig'nal 
idee," 
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he ; — 
"Thet 's ez plain," sez Cass, 
" £z thet some one 's an ass, 
It 's ez clear ez the sun is at noon," 
sez he. 

" Now don't go to say I 'm the friend of 
oppression, 
But keep all your spare breath fer 
coolin' your broth, 
Fer I oilers hev strove (at least thet 's 
my impression) 
To make cussed free with the rights o' 
the North," 
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he ; — 
"Yes," sez Davis o' Miss., 
" The perfection o' bliss 
Is in skinuin' thet same old coon," 
sez he. 

"Slavery 's a thing thet depends on 
complexion, 
It's God's law thet fetters on black 
skins don't chafe ; 



£f brains wuz to settle it (horrid reflec- 
tion !) 
Wich of our onnable body 'd be safe?" 
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he ; — 
Sez Mister Hannegan, 
Afore he began agin, 
"Thet exception is quite opper- 
toon," sez he. 

"Gen'nle Cass, Sir, you needn't be 
twitchin' your collar. 
Your merit 's auite clear by the dut 
on your knees, 
At the North we don't make no distinc- 
tions o' color ; 
You can all take a lick at oor shoes 
wen you please," 
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he ; — 
Sez Mister Jamagin, 
" They wunt hev to lam agin, 
They all on 'em know the old toon," 
sez he. 

" The slavery question aint no vnys be- 
wilderin'. 
North an' South hev one int'rest, it's 
plain to a glance ; 
No'them men, like us patriarchs, don't 
sell their childrin, 
But they du sell themselves, ef they 



git a good chance,' 
Jol 



Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he ; — 
Sez Atherton here, 
"This is ffittin' severe, 

I wish I could dive like a loon," sez 
he. 

" It '11 break up the Union, this talk 
about freedom. 
An' your fact'ry gals (soon ez we split) 
'II make' head, 
An' gittin' some Miss chief or other to 
lead 'em, 
'11 go to work raisin' promiscoous 
Ned." 
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he : — 
" Yes, the North," sez Colquitt, 
" Ef we Southeners all quit. 
Would go down like a busted bal- 
loon, "sez he. 

"Jest look wut is doin', wut annyky 'a 
brewin* 
In the beautifal clime o' the olive an' 
vine. 
All the wise aristoxy 's a tnmblin' to niin, 
An' the sankylots drorin' an' drinkin 
their wine," 



THE BIGLOW PAPEBS. 



187 



Sez John C. CalhooD, sez he ; — 
** Yes,*' sez Johnson, *' in France 
They *re beginnin' to dance 

Beelzebub's own rigadoon,'* sez he. 

" The SoQth *s safe enough, it don't feel 
a mite skeery, 
Oar slaves in their darkness an' dnt 
air tu blest 
Not to welcome with prond hallylugers 
the ery 
Wen oar eagle kicks voum from the 
nayttonal nest,' 
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he ; — 
" 0," sez Westoott o' Florida, 
" Wut treason is horrider 
Then our priv'leges tryin' to proon 7 " 
sez he. 

" It 's 'coz they 're so happy, thet, wen 
crazy sarpints 
Stick their nose in our bizness, we git 
so darned riled ; 
We think it 's our dooty to give pooty 
sharp hints, 
Thet the last crumb of Edin on airth 
sha' n't be spiled," 
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he ; >- 
" Ah," sez Dixon H. Lewis, 
•* It perfectly true is 
Thet slavery 's airth's grettest boon, " 
sez he. 

[It was said of old time, that riches have 
win^i ; and. thoagh tliis be not applicable In 
t literal itrictneM to the wealth of our patri- 
archal brethren oHhe South, yet it is clear that 
tliHr powexsions have legs, and an unacrouut- 
able propensity for using them in a northerly 
direction. I marvel that the gniiid Jury of 
Wasliington did not And a true bill against the 
Knrth Star for aiding and abetting Drayton and 
Sayres. It would have been quite of a piece 
with the intelligence displayed by the South 
on other quentions connected with slavery. I 
think tlaat no ship of state was ever freighted 
with a more veritable Jonah than this same 
] domestic institution of ours. Mephistopheles 
I hinuself cou Id not feign so bitterly, so satirically 
sad a sight as this of three millions of human 
beings onuihe<l beyond help or hope by this 
one mighty argument, — Oiir fiUhen Jttieip no 
hetter ! Nevertheless, it Is the unavoidable des- 
tiny of Jonahs to be cast overboard sooner or 
later. Or shall we try the experiment of hid- 
ing our Jonah in a safe pUce. that none may 
lay hands on him to make Jetsam of him ? Let 
us, theiy with equal forethought and wisdom, 
lash ourselves to the anchor, and await, in pious 
eonfkleDre, the certain result Perhaps our 
■uspicious pcissenger is no Jonah after all. be- 
in? black. For it is well known that a superin- 
t<>nding Providence made a kind of sandwich 
of Ham and his descendants, to be devoured 
\fj the Caucasian not. 



In God's name, let all, who hear nearer and 
nearer the hungry moan of the storm and ttia 
growl of the breakers, speak out ! But, alas I 
we have no right to interfere. If a man pluck 
ail apple of mine, he shall be in danger of the 
Justice ; but if he steal my brother, I must be 
silent Who says this f Our Constitution, con- 
secreted by the callous consuetude of sixty 
yeara, and grasped in triumphant argument by 
the left hand oi him whose right hand dutches 
the clotted slave-whip. Justice, venerable with 
the nndethronable majesty of couutless eons, 
says, — Speak ! The Past, wise with the sor^ 
rows and desolations of ages, ftt>m amid her 
shattered fanes and wolf-housing palaces, ecli- 
oea, — Speak I Nature, through her thousand 
trumpets of ft«edoni, her stars, her sunrises, 
her seas, her winds, her cataracts, her moun- 
tains blue with cloudy pines, blows Jubilant 
encouragement, and cries. — Speak I From 
the sours trembling abysses the still, small 
voice not vaguely mumiure, — Speak I But, 
alas I tlie Constitution aud the Honorable Mr. 
Bagowind, M. C. . say — Be dumb I 

It occurs -to me to suggest, as a topic of In- 
quiry in this connection, whether, on that mo- 
mentous occasion when the goats and the sheep 
shall be i>arted. the Constitution and the Hon- 
orable Mr Bagowind, M. C, will be exjiected 
to take their places on the left as our hircine 
vicars. 

Quid ntm mUer tunc dicturut f 
Quem fotronwn rogatunu i 

There is a point where toleration sinks into 
sheer basen^s and {wltroonery. The toleration 
of the worst leads us to look on what is barely 
better as good enough, and to worahip what ia 
only moderately good. Woe to that man. or 
that nation, to whom mediocrity haa become an 
Ideal I 

Has oar experiment of self-government suc- 
ceeded, If It barely manace to rub awi got 
Here, now. Is a piece of liarbarism which Christ 
and the nineteenth century say shall cease, and 
which Messra. Smith. Brown, and othera say 
shall noi cease. I would by no means deny the 
eminent respectability of these gentlemen, but 
I confesH, that, in such a wrestling-match, I 
cannot help having my feara for them. 

DiaeiUjtutitia'm. monUit «t non Umnert divot. 

H. W] 



No. VI. 

THE PIOUS EDITOR'S CREED. 

[At the special Instance of Mr. Biglow. I 

}>reface the following satire with an extract 
rom a sermon preached during tlie ]«st sum- 
mer, from Ezekiel xxxiv. 2 : " Son of man, 
prophesy against the shepherds of Israel" 
Since the Sabbath on which this discourse was 
delivered, the editor of the " Jaalam Indepen- 
■ dent Blunderbuss " has unaccountably absented 
himself fh>m our house of worahip. 

" I know of no so responsible iiosition as that 
of the public Joumnli'*t Tlie editor of our day 
lienrs the same relation U> his time that the 
clerk bora to the age before the Invention of 



1 



188 



THE BIGLOW PAPEBa 



printing, Indeed, the position which he holds 
Is that whinh tiie cleiigynmn should hold even 
DOW. But the clensyiusn chooses to wallc off to 
the extreme edge of the world, and to throw 
such seed as he has clear over into that dark- 
ness which he calls the Next Life. As if next 
did not mean neare$t, and as if any life were 
nearer than that immediately present one which 
boils and eddies all around him at the caucus, 
the ratilication meeting, and the polls ! Who 
taught him to exhort men to prepare for eter- 
nity, as for some future era of which the pres- 
ent forms no integral part ? The fUrrow wliich 
Time is even now turning runs thr ugh the 
Everlasting, and in that must he plant, or no- 
where. Yet he would fain believe and teach 
that we are 90t'^ to have more of eternity than 
we have now. This going of his is lilce Uiat of 
the auctioneer, on which jfone follows before we 
have made up our minds to bid, — in which 
manner, not three months back, I lost an ex- 
cellent copy of Chappelow on J obi So it has 
come to pass that the preacher, instead of be- 
ing a living force, has faded into an emblematic 
figure at christenings, weddings, and ftineralfl. 
Or, if he exercise any other ninction, it is aa 
keeper and feeder of certain theologic dogmas, 
which, when occasion offers, he unkennels wiUi 
a $taboy ! ' to bark and bite as 't is their nature 
to,' whence that reproach of odi«m iheohgicun 
hais arisen. 

" Meanwhile, see what a pulpit the editor 
mounts daily, sometimes with a congregstlon 
of fifty thousand within reach of his voice, and 
never so much as a nodder, even, among them ! 
And from what a Bible can he choose his text, 
^a Bible which needs no translation, and 
which no priestcraft can shut and clasu firom 
the laity, — the open volume of the world. u)K>n 
which, with a pen of sunshine or destroying 
fire, the inspired Present is even now writing 
the annals of Ood 1 Methinks the editor who 
should understand his calling, and be equal 
thereto, would truly deserve that title of wocmiii' 
Kamv, which Homer bestows upon princes. He 
would be the Moses of our nineteenth century : 
and whereas the old Sinai, silent now, is but a 
common mountain stared at by the el^ant 
tourist and crawled over by the hammering 
geologist, he must find his tables of the new law 
here among factories and cities in this Wilder- 
ness of Sin (Numbers xxxiii. 12) calle<l Progress 
of Civilization, and be the ca)>tain of our Exo- 
dus into the Canaan of a truer social onler. 

•* Nevertheless, our e<litor will not come so 
flir within even the shadow of Sinai as Malmmet 
did. but chooses rather to constnie Moses by 
Joe Smith. He takes up the crook, not that 
the sheep may be fed, but that lie may never 
want a warm woollen suit and a Joint of mut- 
ton. 

ImnuTMr, 0, fdH, pecorumqw MtU tuorum / 

For which reason I would derive the name 
editor not so much from edo, to publish, sm fh>m 
edo. to eat, that being the peculiar profeision 
to which he esteems himself called. He blows 
up the flames of ])o1itical discord for no other 
occasion than that he may thereby handily boil 
his own pot I believe there sre two thousand 
of these mutton-loving shepherds in the United 
States, and of these, how many have even the 
dimmest perception of their immense power. 



and the duties oonseqnent thereon T Here and 
there, haply, one. Nine hundred and ninety- 
nine labor to impress upon the people the 
great principles of TwetdUdnm^ and otlter niue 
bunilred and ninety-nine preach with eqnal 
earnestness the gospel according to Twtedit' 
dse."— H. W.] 

I DU believe in Freedom's caiue, 

£z for away ez Payris is ; 
I love to see her stick her clairs 

In them infarnal Phayrisees ; 
It 'a wal enouffh agin a king 

To dror resolves an* triff^rs, — 
But libbaty *8 a kind o* thing 

Thet don't agree with niggers. 

I da believe the people want 

A tax on teas an' coffees, 
Thet nothin' aint extra vygunt, — 

Purvidin' I 'm in office ; 
Fer I hev loved my country sence 

My eye-teeth filled their sockets, 
An* Uncle Sam I reverence, 

Partic'larly his pockets. 

I du believe in any plan 

O' levyin' the taxes, 
Ez long ez, like a lumberman, 

1 git jest wut I axes ; 
I go free-trade thru thick an* thin. 

Because it kind o' rouses 
The folks to vote, — an* keeps us in 

Our quiet custom-houses. 

I du believe it 's wise an' good 

To sen' out furrin missions, 
Thet is, on saitiu understood 

An' orthydox conditions ; — 
I mean nine thousan' dolls, per ann.. 

Nine thousan' more fer outfit. 
An' me to recommend a man 

The place *ould jest about fit 

I du believe in special ways 

O' prayin' an' coiivartin' ; 
The bread comes back in many days. 

An' buttered, tu, fer sartin ; 
I mean in preyin* till one busts 

On wut the party chooses, 
An' in convarbn* public trusts 

To very privit uses. 

I du believe hard coin the stuff 
Fer 'lectioneers to spout on ; 

The people 's oilers soft enough 
To make hard money out on ; 

Dear Uncle Sam pervides fer his, 
An' gives a good-sized junk to all, — 



THE BIGLOW PAPEBS. 



189 



I don't care how hard money is, 
£z long ez mine *s paid panctoooL 

I du believe with all my soul 

In the gret Press's freedom. 
To pint the people to the goal 

An' in the traces lead 'em ; 
Palsied the arm thet foiges yokes 

At my fat coutiacts siiuintin', 
An' withered be the nose thet pokes 

luter the gov'ment printin' ! 

I dn beliere thet I should give 

Wut 's his'n nnto Cesar, 
Fer it 's by him I move an' live, 

Fmm him my bread an' cheese air; 
] da believe thet all o' me 

Doth bear his superscription, — 
Will, conscience, honor, honesty, 

An* things o' thet description. 

I dn believe in prayer an' praise 

To him thet hez the grantin' 
0' jobs, — ill every thin' thet pays, 

But most of all in Cantin' ; 
This doth my cup with marcies fill, 

This lays all thought o' sin to rest, — 
I dmiH believe in j)nncerple. 

But O, I du in mterest. 

I dn believe in bein' this 

Or thet, ez it may happen 
One way or t' other hen(liest is 

To ketch the people nappin* ; 
It aint by piincerpfes nor men 

My prendunt coarse is steadied, — 
I scent wich iiays the best, an' then 

Go into it baldheaded. 

I da believe thet holdin* slaves 

Comes nat'ral to a Presidunt, 
Let 'lone the rowdedow it saves 

To hev a wal-broke precedunt ; 
Fer any office, small or gret, 

I eoald n't ax with no face, 
Without I 'd ben, thru dry an' wet, 

Th' unrizzest kind o' doughface. 

I dn believe wutever trash 

*11 keep the people in blindness, — 
Thet we the Mexicuns can thrash 

Right inter brotherly kindness, 
Thet bombshells, grape, an* powder 'n' 
ball 

Air good-will's strongest magnets, 
Thet peace, to make it stick at all. 

Most be dmv in with bagnets. 



In short, I firmly du believe 

In Humbug generally, 
Fer it !s a thing thet I (lerceive 

To hev a solid vallv ; 
This heth my faithful shepherd ben. 

In jMLsturs sweet heth led me. 
An' this '11 keep the people green 

To feed ez they hev fed me. 

[I satijoin here another passage firom my 
before-mentioned discourse. 

** Wonderful, to him that has eyes to see it 
rightlv, is the newspaper. To me, for exuiii- 
pie. sitting on the critical fh>nt bench of tne 
pit, in my ittady here in Juilam, the advent 
of my weekly Journal is as that of a struiliiig 
theatre, or rather of a puppet-show, on wIiom 
stage, narrow as it is, the tragedy, comedy, and 
larce of life are played in little. Behuld tlie 
whole huge earth sent to me helxlomadaliy in 
a brown-pajier wrapper ! 

** Hither, to my ooscure comer, by wind or 
steam, on horseback or dromedary-back, in tlie 
pouch of the Indian runner, or clicking over 
the magnetic wires, troop all the famous |>er- 
formers fhim the four quarters of the globe. 
Looked at from a point of criticism, tiny pu^>- 
pets they seem all, as the editor sets up his 
Dooth u)K>n my desk and officiates as showman. 
Now I can truly see how little and transitory 
is life. The earth appears almost as a drop of 
vinegar, on which the solar microacope of the 
imagination must be brought to bear in order 
to make out anything distinctly. That animal- 
cule there, in the pea-jacket, is Louis Philippe, 
Just landed on the coast of England. That 
other, in the gray snrtout and cocked hat. is 
Napoleon Bona^tarte Smith, assuring France 
that she need apprehend no intei*ference from 
him in the present alarming Juncture. At that 
spot, where you seem to see a speck of some* 
thing in motion, is an immense moss-meeting. 
Look sharper, and you will see a mite bran- 
dishing his mandibles in an excited manner. 
That is the great Mr. Soandso, deflning his po> 
sition amid tumultuous and irrepressible cheers. 
That inflnitesimal creature, upon whom some 
score of others, as minute as ne, are gazing in 
open-mouthed admiration, is a famous philoso- 
pner, exiiounding to a select audience theii 
capacity for the InAnite. That scarce discern- 
ible pufflet of smoke and dust is a revolution. 
That 8i>eck there is a reformer. Just arranging 
the lever with which he is to move the worlit 
And lo, there creeps forward the shadow of a 
skeleton that blows one breath between its 
grinning teeth, and all our distinguished actors 
are whisked off the slippery stage into the dark 
Beyond. 

" Yes, the little show-box has Its solemner 

snggestions. Now and then we catch a glinipHe 

of a grim old man, who lays down a scythe and 

.hour-glass in the comer while he shifts the 

'scenes. There, too, in the dim background, a 

weird shape is ever delving. Sometimes he 

leans upon his mattock, and gazes, as a coach 

whirls by. bearing the newly married on their 

wedding Jaunt, or glances carelessly at a Imlie 

brought home flrom christening. Suddenly (for 

i the scene grows larger and larger as we look) a 



190 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



bony hand snatchei back a perfonner In the 
micUt of his >iari. and hliu. whom veateniay 
two inflnlties (pajit and ftittti-e) would not suf- 
flce, a handful) of duat is enough to co%'er and 
ailence forever. Nay. we see the satne flexhlesa 
flncem opening to clutch the showman himself, 
and guess, not without a shudder, that they are 
lying in wait tor siiectator also. 

" Think of it : for three dollars a year I buy 
a season-ticket to this great Globe Tlieatre, for 
which Ood would write the dramas (only that 
we like farces, si^ectacles, and the tragedies of 
ApoUyon betler>, who»e scene-shifter Is Time, 
and whose curtain Is nuig down by Death. 

"Such thoughts will occur to me sometimes 
as I am tearing off the wrapuer of my news- 
paper. Then suddenly that otherwise too often 
▼scant sheet liecomes investml for me with a 
strange kind of awe. Ix>ok ! death« and mar- 
riages, notices of inventions, discoveries, and 
books, lists of promotions, of killed, wounded, 
and missing, news of flres, accidents, of sudden 
wealth and as sudden iioverty : — I hold in my 
hand the ends of myriad invisible electric con- 
ductors, along which tremble the Joys, sorrows, 
wrongs, triumnhs, hopes, and desiwira of as 
many men and women everywhere. So that 
upon that mood of mind which seems to isolate, 
me ftx>m mankind as a spectator of their pup- 
pet-pranks, another sui>ervene8, in which I 
feel that I, too, unknown and un^ieard of, am 
yet of some import to my fellows. For. through 
my newspaper here, do not families take pains 
to send me, an entire stranger, news of a death 
among them? Ara not here two who would 
have me know of their marriage f And, stran- 
ffestof all, is not this singular (terson anxious to 
have me informed that he has re<-eived a ftesh 
supply of Dimitry Bruispiius ? But to none of 
US does the Present conUnue miraculous ^even 
if for a moment discerned as suchX We glance 
careleasly at the sunrise, and get used to 
Orion and the Pleiades. The wonder weare off. 
and to-morrow this sheet. In which a vision 
was let down to me fh>m Heaven, shall be the 
wrappage to a bar of soap or the platter for a 
beggar's broken victuals. — H. W.] 



No. VII. 
A LETTER 

PROM A CAVDIDATR FOR THE PRK81DENCT 
IN ANSWER TO 8UTTIN QUESTIONS PRO- 
POSKD BY MR. HOSRA BIOLOW, INCLOSED 
IN A NOTE FROM MR. BIGLOW TO S- H. 
GAY, ESQ., EDITOR OP THE NATIONAL 
AKTISLAVERY STANDARD. 

[Ci'RioniTY may be said to be the quality 
which pre-emlueiitly distln^iishes and segre- 
gates man fW>m the lower animals. A»» we trace 
the *rn\e of nnimnted nature downward, we 
find tliiH fRrultv(«M it may truly be called) of 
the mind diminlshefl in the savage, and quite 
extitift in the brute. The first obje<-t which 
rivilJaMl man i)ro]»ose« to himself I take to be 
the findiiK; out whntsoever he can concerning 
his neighbors. Uifiil humanum a mc alicnum 



¥uto: I am cnrions about even John Sroltk. 
he desire next in strengtli to this (an opiio- 
site pole, Indeed, of the same magnet) is that 
of communicating the unintelligcnce we have 
carefully picked up. 

Men in general may be divided into the in- 
quisitive and the coujmunicative. To the 
firet class belong Peeping Toms, eave«-dro(>- 
)>ere, naveI-contem))lating Brahmins, metaphy- 
sicians, travellera, Emiiedocleses. sttiea. the 
various societies for promoting Rliinothism. 
Columbuses. Yankees, discoverera, and men of 
science, who present themselves to the mind as 
so many marks of interrogation wandering up 
and down the world, or sitting jn studies and 
laboratories. The second class 1 should again 
subdivide into four. In the firat subdivision 
I would rank those who have an Itrh to tell 
us about themselves, — as keejiera of diaries, 
instt^iflcant iiersons generally, Montaigncs. 
Horace Walpoles, autobiographere, }ioets. The 
second includes those who are anxious to im- 
part iufonnation com-emiug other i»eo]ile. — an 
historians, barbers, and such. To the tliini be- 
long those who lalior to give us intelligence 
aliout nothing at all. — as novelists, |H>fitical 
oratore, the laige majority of authors, preai-h- 
ere, lecturere, and the like. In the fourth 
come those who sre communicative flrom mo- 
tives of public benevolence, —as flndere of 
mares'-nests and bringera of ill news. E^ch of 
us two-legged fowls without fenthera embraces 
all these subdivisions in himself to a greater or 
less degree, for none of us so much as la)-s an 
egg. or incubates a chalk one. but straightway 
the whole barnyard shall know it by our cackle 
or our cluck, dmnibus hoc vUium est There 
are different grades in all these classes. One 
will turn his telescope toward a hack-yard, 
another toward Uranus ; one will tell you that 
he dined with Smith, another that he sup}ied 
with Plato. In one iwrticular. all men may !« 
considered as belonging to the firat grand divis- 
ion, inasmuch as they all seem eoually desir- 
ous of discovering the mote in their neighbor's 
eye. 

To one or another of these species every hu- 
man being may safely be referred. I thinl: it 
beyond a perad venture that Jonah prost'cnted 
some Inquiries into tlie digestive apparatus of 
whales, and that Noah sealed up a letter in 
an empty bottle, that news in regard to him 
might not be wanting in case of the worst 
They had else been sutler or subter human. I 
conceive, also, that, as there are certain pereons 
who continually peep and pry at the keyhole 
of that mysterious door through which, sooner 
or later, we all make our exits, so there are 
doubtless ghosts fidgeting and fitting on the 
other side of it, because they have no means of 
conveying back to this world the scraiis of 
news they have picked up in that For there 
is an answer ready somewhere to every ques- 
tion, the great law of give and take nms 
through all nature, and if we see a book, we 
may be sure that an eye is waiting for It. I 
read In every face I meet a standing advertise- 
ment of iufo'rmAtion wanted in regard to A. R, 
or that the friends of C. D. can hear something 
to hit) disadvantage by application to suck a 
one. 

It was to gratify the two great nimions of 
asking and answering that epistolary corre- 
spondence was flrat invented. Lettera ^for l>y 



± 



THE 6IGL0W PAPEBS. 



191 



this Tumrped title epistle* are now commonly 
known) are of Mveml kinds. Pint, there are 
those which are not lettera at all. — as lettere- 
patent, lettere dimissory. lettere enclosing 
bills, letters of administntion, Pliny's lettere, 
ktten of diplomacy, of Cat<>, of Mentor, of 
Lonls Lyttelton, Cuesterfleld, and Orrery, of 
Jacob Behmen, Seneca (whom 8t Jerome in- 
cludes in his list of sacred writere), lettere from 
abroad, ttom sous in coU^pe to tJieir fathera, 
lettere of maiqne, and letters Keuerally, which 
are in no wise lettere of mark. Second, an 
T«al lettere, sncb as those of Grey. Cowper. 
Walpole. Ho wen. Lamb, D. Y., the ttret lettere 
ttom children (printed in sta^rin^ capitals), 
Lettere from New York, lettere of credit, and 
othen, interesting for the sake of tlie writer 
or the Uiing written. I have read also lettere 
from Europe by a gentleman named Pinto, con- 
taining some curious gossip^ and which I hope 
to see collected for the benefit of the curious. 
There are, besides, lettere addressed to pos- 
terity. —as epitaphs, for example, written for 
their own molinmenta by monarehs, whereby 
we have lately become possessed of the names 
of several great oonquerore and kings of kings, 
hitherto unheard of and still unpronounceable, 
bnt valuable to the student of the entirely dark 
ageik The letter which 8t Peter sent to King 
Pepin in the year of grace 755, that of the Vir- 
cin to the magistrates of Messina, that of 8L 
Gregory Tbaumatui<gus to the D — ^l, and that of 
this last-mentioned active police-magistrate to 
a nun of Girgenti, I would place in a class by 
themselves, as also the lettere of candidates, 
concerning which I shall dilate more ftilly in 
a note at the end of the following poem. At 
present, aat prata biberwU. Only, concerning 
the shape of lettere, they are all either square 
or oblong, to which general figures circular 
lettere and round-rob^ also conform them- 
selves.— H. W.l 

Debb sir its gut to be the fashun now 
to rite letters to the candid fis and i wns 
chose at a pnblick Meetin in Jaalam to dn 
wilt was nessary far that town, i writ to 
271 ginerals and gnt ansers to 209. tha 
air called candid m bnt I don't see nothin 
candid abont 'em. this here 1 wich I 
•end wns thonght satty's factory. I dunno 
as it's nshle to print Poscrips, but as all 
the ansers I got hed the saim, I sposed it 
was best times has gretly changed. 
Formaly to knock a man into a cocked hat 
wwi to use him up, bnt now it ony gives 
him a chance fur the cheef madgustracy. 
- H. a --o ^ 

Dear Sir, — You wish to know my 
j notions 

I On sartin pints thet rile the land ; 
There *8 nothin' thet my natur so 
shuns 
Ez hein' mnm or underhand ; 
I *m A straight-spoken kind o* creetnr 
Thet blnrts right out wut's in his 
head. 



An ef I Ve one pecooler feetur, 
It is a nose thet want be led. 

So, to begin at the beginnin* 

An' come direcly to the pint, 
I think the country 's underpinnin' 

Is some consid'ble out o' jint ; 
I aint asoin' to try your patience 

By telliu' who done this or thet, 
I do*n*t make no insinooations, 

I jest let on I smell a rat. 

Thet is, I mean, it seems to me so, 

But, ef the public think I 'm wrong, 
I wunt deny but wut I be so, — 

An', fact, it don't smell very strong ; 
My mind 's tn fair to lose its balance 

An' say wich party hez most sense ; 
There may be folks o' greater talence 

Thet can't set stiddier on the fence. 

I 'm an eclectic ; ex to choosin' 
'Twixt this an' thet, 1 'm plaguy 
lawth ; 
I leave a side thet looks like losin'. 
But (wile there 's doubt) I stick to 
both; 
I Stan' upon the Constitution, 
£z preudunt statesmun say, who 've 
planned 
A way to git the most profusion 
0' chances ez to loare they '11 stand. 

£z fer the war, I ^ agin it, — 

I mean to say I kind o' du, — 
Thet is, I mean thet, bein' in it, 

The best way wuz to fight it thru ; 
Not but wut abstract war is horrid, 

I siffn to thet with all my heart, — 
But civlyzation dooa git forrid 

Sometimes upon a powder-cart. 

Abont thet darned Proviso matter 

I never hed a grain o' doubt, 
Nor 1 aint one my sense to scatter 

So 'st no one could n't pick it out ; 
My love fer North an' South is equil, 

So I '11 jest answer plump an' fitink. 
No matter wut may be the seqnil, — 

Yes, Sir, I am agin a Bank. 

£z to the answerin' o' questions, 

I 'm an off ox at bein' druv, 
Though I aint one thet ary test shuns 

'11 give our folks a helpin' shove ; 
Kind o' promiscoous I go it 

Fer the hoU country, an' the ground 



192 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



I take, ez nigh ez I can show it, 
Is pooty gen'ally all round. 

I don't approve o' givin' pledges ; 

You 'd ough' to leave a feller free, 
An' not go knockin' out the wedges 

To ketch his fingers in the tree ; 
Pledges air awAe breachy cattle 

Thet preudunt farmers don't turn 
out, — 
£z long 'z the people git their rattle, 

Wut is there fer 'm to grout about ? 

£z to the slaves, there 's no confusion 

In my idees cousarnin' them, — 
/ think they air an Institution, 

A sort of — yes, jest so, — ahem : 
Do r own any ? Of my merit 

On thet pint you yourself may jedge ; 
All is, I never drink no siierit, 

Nor I haint never signed no pledge. 

Ez to my prinoerples, I gloiy 

In hevin' nothin' o* the sort ; 
I aint a Wig, I aint a Tory, 

I 'm jest a candidate, in short ; 
Thet 's fair an' sauare an' parpendicler. 

But, ef the Puolic cares a fig 
To hev me an' thin' in particler, 

Wy, I 'm a kind o' peri- Wig. 

P. 8. 

Ez we 're a sort o' privateerin', 

O' course, you know, it 's sheer an' 
sheer, 
An' there is sutthin' wnth your hearin* 

I '11 mention in yotir privit ear ; 
Ef you git me inside the White House, 

Your head with ile I '11 kin' o* 'nint 
By gittin' you inside the Light-house 

Down to the eend o' Jaalam Pint. 

An' ez the North hez took to brustlin' 

At bein' scrouged frum off the roost, 
I 'U tell ye wut 11 save all tusslin' 

An' give our side a hamsome boost, — 
Tell 'em thet on the Slavery qu(*stion 

I 'm RIGHT, although to speak I 'm 
lawth ; 
This gives you a safe pint to rest on, 

^~ leaves me frontin* South by 



An' 



North. 



[And now of epistlen candldatlal. which are 
of two kinds, — namely, letters of acceptance, 
and letters definitive "f position. Our repub- 
lic, on the eve of an election, may saiely enough 



be called a repnhlic of letters. EpUtobry 
composition befonies then an epidemic, wbi* h 
seises one candidate after another, not seldom 
cutting short the thread of political life. Tt 
has come to such a pass, that a party dreads 
less the attacks of it« opponents than a letter 
f^om its candidate. Litem teripta pumet, and 
it will go hard if soroethins had cannot be iiukle 
of It Genera] Harrison, it is well understood, 
was surrounded, during his candidacy, with the 
cordcn minUaire of a vigilance committee. No 

Srisoner in Spielberg was ever more cautionsly 
eprived of writing materials. The snot wm 
scraped careftilly fh>m tbechimney-place« : ont- 

Sosta of expert rifle-shooters rendered it sure 
eath for any goose (who came clad in featben) 
to approach within a certain limited distanre 
of North Bend : and all domestic fowls about 
the premises were reduced to the condition of 
Plato's original man. T^y these precantirms 
the General was saved. Parru comtpomert v<*9- 
nis, I remember, that, when party-spirit on* e 
ran high among my people, upon occasion of 
the choice of a new deacon. I. having my pref- 
erences, yet not caring too openly to expieas 
them, made use of an innocent ftand to tiring 
about that result which 1 deemed most desini- 
ble. My stratagem was no other than the 
throwing a copy of the Complete Letter- Writer 
in the wav of the candidate whom I wished to 
defeat He caught the infection, and addmaed 
a short note to his constituents, in which the 
op)x»site party detected so many and so gnve 
improprieties (he had modelled it upon the 
letter of a young lady accepting a proposal of 
marriage), that he not only lost his election, but 
falling under a suspicion of Sabellianism and I 
know not what (the widow Endive assured ne 
that he was a Farali]K>roenon, to her certain 
knowledge), was for^ to leave the town. 
Thus it Is that the letter killeth. 

The ol(}ect which candidate propose to 
themselves in writing is to convey no nieaning 
at alL And here is a quite unsusjiected pitfoU 
into which they successively plunge headlong. 
For it is precisely in such crypto^jpraphiea Uiat 
mankind are prone to seek for and find a won- 
derftil amount and variety of significan<^. 
Omm ignotUM pro mir{/Uo. How do we admire 
at the antique world striving to crack those 
oracular nuts ftom Delphi, Hanmion, and else- 
where, in only one of which can I so much as 
surmise that any kernel had ever lodged : that, 
namely, wherein Apollo confessed that he was 
mortal. One Didynms is, moreover, related to 
have written six thousand l)ookH on tlie single 
subject of grammar, a topic rendered only inore 
tenebriflc by the labors of his successors, and 
which seems still to posseM an attraction for au- 
thors in pro]x>rtion as they can make nothimr of 
it A smgnlar loadstone for theologians. al«o. 
Is the Beast in the Apocalypse, whereof, in the 
course of my studies, I have noted two hun- 
dred and three several interpretaUon«. each 
lethiferal to all the rest Noh nostnti* t>4 tan- 
t€u eomjxmrrt Utes, yet I have myself ventured, 
upon a two hundred and fourth, which I em- 
bodie<l in a discourse preached on occasion of 
the demise of tlie late usurper. Napoleon Bona- 
parte, and which quieted, in a large measiTre. 
the minds of my people. It is true that my 
views on this important point were ardently 
controverted by Mr. Sbeaijashub Holdea, the 



I 



THS BIOLOW PAPERS. 



193 



theft praoeptor <if our Mademy, and in other 
partieolua a verv deserving and aenaible 
youog nun, thoogn posaeesing a somewhat 
umited knowledge of the Greek tongue. But 
hlfl heresy struck down no deep root, and, he 
having been lately removed by the hand of 
Providence, T had the satisfaction of reafflrm- 
ing my cherished sentiments in a sermon 
prasched upon the Lord's day immediately suc- 
ceeding his (tinend. This might seem like tak- 
ing an unfair advantage, did I not add that he 
had made provision in his last wlU (being celi- 
hate) for the publication of a posthumous trac- 
tate in support of his own dangeroua opiniona. 

I know of nothing in our modem times which 
appruaehee so nearly to the ancient oracle as 
the letter of a Presidential candklate. Now, 
among the Greeks, the eating of beans wss 
strict^ forbidden to all such as had it in mind 
tn consnlt those ex|iert amphibologists, and 
this same prohibition on the part of Pytha^ 
oias to his disciples is understood to imply 
an abstinence fkt>m politics, beans having been 
used aa ballots. That other explication, quod 
tiddieet ienaus to oXio o6<«)ufi erMimarsI, 
though supported mugnli et ocUeihtu by many 
of the learned, and not wanting the counte- 
nance of Cicero, is confuted by the larger expe- 
rience of New England. On the whole, I think 
it safer to apply here the rule of interpretation 
which now geoerally obtains in regard to an- 
tique cosmogonies, myths, fables, proverbial 
•xpressions, and knotty points generally, which 
iMo find a common-sense meaning, and then 
select whatever can be hnagined the moat oppo- 
site thereto. In tlils way we arrive at the con- 
clusion, that the Greeks ot^iected to the ques- 
tioning of candidates. And very properly, if, 
as I conceive, the chief point be not to dis- 
cover what a person in that position la, or what 
he will do, but whether he can be elected. Vot 
€umfiaria GrtBoot noduma vtrfote namt, vanaU 
diiuma. 

But, since an imitation of the Greeks in 
this particular (the asking of questions being 
one cnlef privilege of freemen) is hardly to be 
hoped for, and our candidates will answer, 
whether they are Questioned or not, I would 
reoommend that toese ante-electionary dia- 
logues should be carried on by symbols, as 
were the diplomatic correspondences of the 
Scythians and Macrobii, or confined to the lan- 
guage of sicns. like the (kmous interview of 
nnuige and Goatanose. A candidate might 
then convey a suitable reply to all committees 
of inquiry by closing one eye, or by presoiting 
them witn a phial of Egyptian darkness to be 
raeeuUted npon by their respective constituen- 
cies. These answers would be susceptible of 
whatever retrospective construction the exi- 

ricies of the political campaign might seem 
demand, and the candidate could take his 
position on either side of the fence with entire 
consistency. Or, if letters must be written, 
protttable use might be made of the IMghton 
rock hiemglvphic or the cuneiform script, 
every fVesh decif^ierer of which is enabled to 
educe a diflTerent meaning, whereby a sculp- 
tured stone or two supplies us, and will prob- 
ably continue to supply posterity, with a very 
^tst and various body of authentic history. 
For even the briefest epistle in the ordinary 
ehirogtaphy is dangeroos. There is searce any 



style so compressed that snperHuoni words 
may not be detected in it A severe critic 
might curtail that fkmous brevity of Ciesar's by 
two thirds, drawrins his pen through the suiier- 
erogatory veni and vidu Perhaps, after nil, 
the surest footing of hope Is to be found in the 
rapidly increasing tendency to denuuid less and 
less of qualification in candidates. Already 
have statesmanship, experience, and the |mm- 
session (nay, the profession, even) of princiiiles 
been rcijected aa superfluous, and may not the 
patriot reasonably hope that the ability to write 
will foUowT At present, there maybe death 
in pot-hooks ss well ss pots, the loop of a let- 
ter may sufllee for a bow-string, and all the 
dreadful heresies of Antialavery may lurk in a 
floozlah. — H. W.] 



No. VIII. 
A BEOOND LETTEB FBOM B. SAWDT, ESQ. 

[In the following epistle, we behold Mr. 
Sawin returning, a siilM emertdu, to the bosom 
of his family. Onantum vMiUUut! The good 
Father of us all had doubtless intrusted to the 
keeping of this child of his certain faculties of 
a constructive kind. He had put in him a 
share of that vital force, the nicest economy 
of every minute atom of which is necessary 
to the iierfect development of Humanity. He 
bad given him a brain and heart, and so had 
equipped his soul with the two strong wings of 
knowledge and love, whereby it can mount to 
hang ita nest under the eaves of heaven. And 
this child, so dowered, he had intrusted to the 
keeping of hia vicar, the State. How stands 
the account of that stewardship ? The State, 
or Society (call her by what name you will), 
had taken no manner of thought of htm till nhe 
saw him swept out into the street, the pitiftil 
leavings of last night's debauch, with cigar* 
ends, lemon-parings, tobacco-quids, slops, vile 
stenches, and the whole loathsome next- morn- 
ing of the bar-room, — an own child of the 
Almi^ty God! I remember him as he was 
brou^t to be christened, a ruddy, niseged 
babe ; and now there he wallows, reeking, 
seething, — the dead corpse, not of a man, but 
of a soul, — a putre^ring lump, horrible for th« 
life that is in it. Conies the wind of heaven, 
that good Samaritan, and parte the hair npon 
his forehead, nor is too nice to kiss tho^e 
parched, cracked lips ; the morning opens upon 
nim her eyes fUll of pitying sunshine, the sky 
yeama down to him, — and there he lies fer- 
menting. O sleep 1 let me not profane thy lioly 
name by calling that stertorous unconsriouii- 
ness a slumber! By aud by comes along the 
State, God's vicar. Does she say, — " My \mor, 
forlorn foster-child I Behold here s fon-e 
which I will make dig and plant and biiilil for 
me " ? Not so, but, — " Here is a recruit rea«iy- 
made to my hand, a piece of destroying ener/y 
Ijring unprofltably idle." So she cLaps an ugly 
gray suit on htm, pots a musket in his khmis 
and sends him oflT, with Gubernatorial and 
other godspeeds, to do duty as a destroyer. 

1 made one of the crowd at the laat Mechan- 



L 



13 



194 



THE BIGIiOW PAFEBa 



p 

I 



I 

I 



J 



I 



I 



f 

I 



I 



let' Fiir, utd, with the rest, stood gulna in 
wonder at a perfect machine, with its •ooi of 
fire, ita boiler-heart that sent the hot blood 
pulsing along the iron aiteriM. and its thews of 
steeL And while I was admiring the adapta- 
tion of means to end, the haimonioos invola- 
tions of contrivance, and tlie never-bewildered 
complexity. I saw a grimed and greasy fellow, 
the iropenons engine's lackey and dnidge, 
whose sole oAce was to let fall, at intervala, a 
drop or two of oil upon a certain joint. Ihen 
my soul said within we. Bee there a piece of 
mechanism to which that oth« you uanrel at 
Is but ss the rude ftrst effort of a child,— a 
force which not merely snAcee to set a few 
wheels in motion, but which can send an im- 
pnlse all throogli the infinite flstiue, — a con- 
trivance, not tor turning out pins, or stitchins 
buttonholes, but for making Hamlets ana 
Lears. And vet this thing of iron shall be 
housed, waited on, guarded irora rust and dust, 
and it shall be a crime but so much as to 
srnitch it with a pin : while the other, with its 
Are of God in it, shall be bnflTeted hither and 
tliither. and ftnally sent csieftelly a thotisand 
miles to be the taicet for a Mexican cannou- 
balL Unthrifty Mother State I Mv heart 
burned within me for pity and indignation, and 
I renewed this covenant with my own sool, — 
ia aiiU maiumehu era, <U. in hIatsAtmiii ee»- 
tra Chrishim, turn ifak — & W.] 

I 8F0BB yoQ wonder ware I be ; I can't 

tell, fer the eoal o' me, 
£zaclY ware I be myself, — meanin* by 

thet the boll o' me. 
Wen I left bum, I bed two lega, an* they 

wom't bad ones neither, 
(The scaliest tiick they erer played wu 

bringin' on me hither,) 
Now one on 'em 's I dunno ware ; — 

they thought I wux adyin'. 
An' sawed it off beoaoae they said 't wnz 

kin' o' mortifyin' ; 
I 'm willin' to befieve It wu|, an' yit I 

don't see, nuther, 
Wy one shoad take to feelin' cheap a 

minnit sooner 'n t* other, 
Sence both wii2 equilly to blame; but 

things is ez they be ; 
It took on BO they took it off, an' thet 's 

enough fer me : 
There 's one good thing, though, to be 

said about my wooden new one, — 
The liquor can* t git into it ez 't nsed to 

in the true one ; 
So it saves drink ; an' then, besides, a 

feller could n't beg 
A gretter blessin' then to hev one oilers 

sober peg ; 
It 's tnie a chap 's in want o* two fer fol- 

lerin' a drum. 
But all the march 1' m np to now Is jest 

to Kingdom Ckmia. 



I 'ts lost one eye, but thet 's a loas it's 

easy to supply 
Out o' the gloiy that I 'ye gut» fer thet 

is all my eye ; 
An' one is big enongh, I gness, by dili- 
gently nsin' it, 
To see all I shall ever git by way o' pay 

fer losin' it ; 
Off'eers I notice, who git paid fer all 

our thnmps an' kickins, 
Dn wal by keepin* single eyes arter the 

fattest pickins ; 
So, ez the ej^e 's put fairly out, 1 11 lara 

to go without it. 
An' not allow niftel/io be no gret pot 

ont about it. 
Now, le' me see, thet is n't all ; I used, 

'fore Icarin' Jaalam, 
To count things on my finger-eends, bat 

sutthin* seems to aU 'em : 
Ware 's my left hand ? 0, dam it, yes, 

1 recollect wut 's come on 't ; 
I haint no left arm but my ru^ht, an' 

thet 's gut jest a thumb on t ; 
It sint so bendy ez it wnz to csl'late a 

sum on 't 
IVehed some ribs broke, — six (I bl'ieTc^ 

— I haint kep' no account on 'em ; 
Wen pensions git to be the talk, 1 '11 

settle the amount on 'em. 
An' now I'm speak in' about nh§, it kin' 

o' brings to mind 
One thet I could n't nerer break, — the 

one I lef behind; 
Ef you should see her, jest dear oat the 

spout o' your inyention 
An' pour the longest sweetnin' in abont 

an annooal pension. 
An' kin* o' hint (in case, you know, the 

critter should refuse to be 
Consoled) I aint so 'xpensive now to keep 

ez wut 1 used to be ; 
There 's one arm less, ditto one eye, so* 

then the leg thet 's wooden 
Can be took off an' sot away wenever 

ther 's a puddin'. 

I spose yon think Tm comin* back es 

opperiunt ez thunder, 
With sniploads o' gold images an' yams 

sorts o' plunder ; 
Wal, 'fore 1 vnllinteered, I thought thia 

country wuz a sort o' 
Canaan, a reg'lar Promised Land llowin' 

with rum an' water. 
Ware propaty growed np like time^ 

without no cultiyation. 



1 ^l» WWl^ Ml •« 



THS BIGLOW PAPEBa 



195 



An* 0Dld was dog et taten be unong war 

X ankee nation. 
Wan nateial advantages were pufficly 

amazin'. 
Ware every reck there vraz abont with 

precions stunA wnx blazin*, 
Ware mill-eites filled the oountir up ez 

thick ez yon coald cram em 
JUi' deaipat riven ran about a beggin* 
' folka to dam 'em ; 

> Thcan there were meetinhooses, ta, 
I chockfnl o' gold an' nlver 

Thct yoQ oonld take, an' no one oonld n't 

hand ye in no bill fer ; -^ 
Thet'a wnt I thoaght ajfore I went* 

thet 'a wilt them fellera told us 
Thet stayed to ham an' speechified an' 

to the bazzards sold us ; 
I tiioaght thet gold-mines eould be gut 

cheaper than Chinv asters, 
An' see myself acomin back like sixty 

Jacob Astors; 
Bat seeh idees soon melted down an' 

did n't leave a grease-spot ; 
I vow my hoU sheer a the spiles would n't 

come nigh a Y spot ; 
Although, most anywares we've ben, 

you needn't break no loeks, 
Kor ran no kin' o' risks, to fill your 

pocket full o' rocks. 
I 'a^Mct I mentioned in my last some o' 

the natenl feetan 
CK this all-fiered buggy hole in th* way 

o' Awfle creeturs, 
But I feignt to name (new things to 

apeak on so abounded) 
How one day vou '11 most die o' thust, 

an' 'fore the next git drownded. 
The clymit seems to me jest like a tea- 
pot made o* pewter 
Our Pradence had, thet would n't pour 

(all she could du) to suit her ; 
Fust place the leaves 'onld choke the 

apont, so 's not a drop *ould drsen 

out. 
Then Prade 'ould tip an' tip an' tip, till 

the boll kit buAt clean out. 
The kiver-hinge-pin b^' lost, tea-leaves 

an' tea an* kiver 
'ould all comedown ker$u)o$h I ez though 

the dam broke fin a river. 
Jest so 'tis here; hoU months there 

aint a day o' rainy weather. 
An* jest ez th' officen 'ould be a layin' 

heads together 
Ez t' how they 'd mix their drink at sech 

a railingtary deepot, «• | 



Twvnld pour ea though the lid wuz off 

the everlastin' teapot 
The cons'quence iS| tiiet I shall take, 

wen I m allowed to leave here. 
One piece o' pronaty along^ an' thet's 

the shakin* fever ; 
It 's Tpggilar emplovroent, though, an' 

thet aint thought to harm one, 
Nor 't aint ao tiresome ez it wuz with 

t' other leg an' and on ; 
An' it 's a consolation, tu, although it 

doosn't pay. 
To hev it sdd yon 're some grat shakea 

in any kin' o' way. 
'T worn't very long, I tell ye wnt, I 

• thought o' fortin-makin*, — * 
One day a regular shiver-de-freeze, an 

next ez good ez bakin', — 
One day abrilin' in the sand, then 

smoth'rin' in the mashes, — 
Oit up all sound, be put to bed a mess 

hacks an' smashes. 

But then, thinks I, at any rate there 's 

glory to be hed, -— 
Thet s an investment, arter all, thet 

may n't tura out so bad ; 
But somehow, wan we 'd fit an' licked, 

1 ollen found the thanks 

Out kin' o' lodged afore they come ez 

low down ez the vsnks ; 
The Gin'rels gut the biggest sheer, the 

Gunnies next, an' so on, — 
We never gut a blasted mite o* glory ez 

I know on ; • 

An' spoae we hed, I wonder how yon 're 

(p»n' to contrive its 
Division so 's to f^ve a pieos to twenty 

thousand pnvits ; 
Ef you should multiply by ten the por- 
tion o' the brev st one, 
You would n't git more 'n half enough to 

speak of on a grevS'Stau ; 
We git the licks, — we 're Jest the grist 

thet 's put into War's hoppera ; 
Leftenants is the lowest grade thet hel]is 

pick up the coppersL 
It may suit folks thet go agin a Ixxly 

with a soul hi 't. 
An' aint contented with a hide without 

a bagnet hole in 't ; 
But glory is a kin' o* thing / sha* n't 

pursue no furdor, 
Coz thet 's the ofTcen parqnisite, — 

yourn's on'y jest the murder. 

Wal, arter I gin glory up, thinks I at 
least there 's one 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



197 



Sech ex the oite-eted Slarterer, the 

BLOODY BiRDOFREDUM : 

Them *a wut takes hold o* folks the! 

think, ez well ez o' the masses, 
An* makes yon sartin o* the aid o' good 

men of all classes. 

There 's one thing I 'm in doubt about ; 

in order to be Presidunt, 
It's absolutely ne'ssary to be a Southern 

residunt ; 
The Constitution settles thet, an* also 

thet a feller 
Must own a nigger o* some sort, jet black, 

or brown, or yeller. 
Kow I haint no objections agin particklar 

climes, 
Kor agin ownin' anythin* (except the 

truth sometimes), 
But, ez I haint no capital, up there 

among ye, maybe, 
Tou might raise funds enough fer me to 

buy a low-priced baby, 
An* then to suit the No'them folks, who 

feel obleeged to say 
They hate an* cuss the very thing they 

Tote fer every day. 
Say you *re assured I go full butt fer 

Libbatv's diffusion 
An* made the purchis on'y jest to spite 

the Institootion ; — 
But, golly ! there *s the cunier^s boss 

upon the pavement pawin' ! 
1 11 be more 'xplicit in my next 
Youm, 

BIRDOFREDUM SAWIN. 



[We have now a tolerably f&ir chance of es- 
thnating how the balance-sheet stands between 
OUT retained volunteer and glory. Supposing 
the entries to be set down on both sides of the 
aeconnt in fi«ctional parts of one hundred, we 
shall arrive at something like the following re* 
suit: — 

B. Bawiv, Esq.» in account with (Blank) 

Glort. 

Or. Dr. 



(« 



By Ion of one leg, SO 
" da one arm, 15 
" da four fingers, 6 
" do. one eye . .10 
the breaking of 
six ribs, . . 6 
having served 
under Colonel 
Gushing one 
month, ... 44 



100 



To one 676th three 
cheers in Fan- 
euil HaU, . .80 
" da do. on occa- 
sion of presenta- 
tion of sword to 
Colonel Wright, 25 
one suit of gray 
clothes (Ingen- 
iously unbecom- 
ing) .... 15 



n 



Or. 

firouj^t forward 



B. E. 



Dr. 

100 Brought forward 70 
To musical enter- 
tainments (drum 
and fife six 
months), ... 5 
one dinner after 
return .... 1 
chance of pen- 
sion. . . . . 1 
privilege of 

drawing long- 
bow during rest 
of natural life, 23 

100 100 



«• 



(« 



It would appear that Mr. Sawin found the 
actual feast curiously the reverse of the bill 
of fore advertised in Fanenil Hall and other 
places. His primanr ol^ect seems to have 
been the making of his fortune Qwerenda 
pecttiiia primun^ virUu poet numnuu. He 
hoisted sail for Eldorado, and shipwrecked on 
Point Tribulation. Quid non inortalia peetora 
eogiSf auri tacra Jdtnm f The s^ieculation has 
sometimes crossed my mind, m that dreary 
interval of drought which intervenes between 

auarteriy stipendiary showers, that Provi- 
ence, by the creation of a money-tree, might 
have simplilled wonderfully the sometimes per- 
plexing problem of human life. We read of 
bread-trees, tiie butter for which lies ready- 
churned in Irish bogs. Milk-trees we are as- 
sured of In South America, and stout Sir John 
Hawkins testifies to water-trees in the Cana- 
ries. Boot-trees bear abundantly in Lynn and 
elsewhere ; and I have seen, in the entries of 
the wealthy, hat-trees with a fair show of friiit 
A fimilly-tree I once cultivated myself, and 
found therefrom but a scanty yield, and that 
quite tasteless and innutritious. Of trees bear- 
ing men we are not without examples ; as those 
in the park of Louis the Eleventh of France. 
Who has forgotten, moreover, that olive-tree, 
growing in the Athenian's back-garden, with its 
strange uxorious crop, for the general propaga- 
tion of which, as of a new and precious variety, 
the philosopher Diogenes, hitherto uninterested 
in arboriculture, was so zealous ? In the sylva 
of our own Southern States, the females of my 
fkmily have called my attention to the china- 
tree. Not to multiply examples. I will barely 
add to my list the birch-tree, in the smaller 
branches of which has been implanted so 
miraculous a virtue for communicating the 
Latin and Greek languages, and which may 
well, therefore, be classed among the trees pro- 
ducing necessaries of life, — ventrabile donum 
fiUalU virga. That money-trees existed in the 
golden age there want not prevalent reasons 
for our Iwlievlng. Fbr does not the old prov- 
erb, when it asserts that money does not grow 
on every bush, imply a ybrtiori that there were 
certain bushes which did produce it? Again, 
there is another ancient saw to the effect that 
money is the ro(a of all evil. From which two 
adu^ges it may be safe to Infer that the afore- 
said species of tree first degenerated into a 
shrub, then absconded underfrmnnd, and final- 
ly, in our iron age, vanished altogether. In 
favorable exposures it may be conjectured that 



198 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



a upecimen or two sanrived to a great age, aa 
In the garden of the Heaperidea : and. indeed, 
what else could that tree in the Sixth £neid 
have been, with a branch whereor the Trojan 
hero procived admission to a territory, for the 
entering of which money is a surer passport 
than to a certain other more profitable (too) 
foreign kingdom f Whether these speculations 
of mine have any force in them, or whether 
they will not rather, by most readers, be deemed 
impertinent to the matter in hand, is a ques« 
tion which I leave to the determination of an 
indulgent posterity. That there were, in more 
primitive and happier times, shops where 
money was sold, — and that« too, on credit and 
at a baigain, — I take to be matter of demon- 
stration . For what but a dealer in this article 
wai$ that J£olU8 who supplied Ulysses with 
motive-itower for hia fleet in bagar What that 
Ericus, King of Sweden^ who Is said to have 
kept the winds in his capT what, in more 
recent timee» thoae Lapland Momaa who traded 
In favorable breeaesT AU which will appear 
the more dearly when we coiiaider» that, even 
to this day, rumng tkt wind la proverbial tor 
raising money, and that brokers and banks 
were mventea by the VeMtiaaa at a later pe- 
riod. 

And now for tlM imtnwenient of tbia digres- 
sion. I flnd a parallel to Mr. Sawin's fortune 
in an adventure of my own. For, ahorUy alter 
I had tint broached to myaelf the befbre-stated 
natural-historioal and arehsological theoriea, 
as I was passing, heec iMpo«a pea<l«i« «MewM 
Ttvolvent, tiuougn one of the obscure saburbs 
of our New England metropolia, my eye was 
attracted by these words upon a sign-board, — 
Chkap CAaH-SroRB. Hers waa at once the 
couflrmation of my speeulatlona, and the sub- 
stance of my bopea. Here lingered the frag- 
ment of a hH>pier past, or stretched out the 
first tremulous organic fllament of a more for- 
tunate fViture. Thua glowed the distant Mex- 
ico to the eyes of Sawin, aa he looked tbroivj^ 
the dirty pane of the recruiting-offlce window, 
or speculated fh>u the summit of that mirsge- 
Pisgah which the impa ot the bottle are so 
cunning in raising up. Already bad my AI- 
naschar-faney (even during that flrrt half-be- 
lieving glance) expended in various useful direc- 
tions the f^ds to be obtained by pledging Uie 
manuscript of a proposed volume of diacourses. 
Already did a clock ornament the tower <it the 
Jaalani meeting-house, a sift appropriately, 
but modestly, commemofated in the pariah and 
town records, both, for now many years, kept 
by myself. Already had my son Seneca com- 
pleted his counie at the University. Whether, 
for the moment, we may not be conaidered as 
actually lording it over those Baratarias with 
the vioeroyalty of which Hope invests us, and 
whether we are ever so warialy h<inaed aa in 
our Spanish eastles, would afford matter of 
argument Enough that I foimd that sign- 
board to be no other than a bait to the trap of 
a decayed grocer. Nevertheless, I bought a 
pound of dates (gettina short weight by reason 
of immense flights of har|>y flies who pursued 
and lighted ui)on their prey even in the verv 
scales), which purchase I made, not only with 
an eye to the little ones at home, but also as 
a fi^irative reproof of that too frequent habit 
of my mind, which, forgetting the due order of 



chronology, will often persoade me thatihe 
happy s<>eptre of Saturn is stretohed over tiii< 
Astnea-forsaken ninet««nth century. 

Having gkmced at tiie led^^er of Glory vmler 
the title Saiein, A, let ua extend our invcs- 
tigationa, and discover if tliat inatractlve vi4- 
ume does not coutain some chaR;e3 mors 
personally interesting to onrsidvea ithink.ve 
should be mure economical of onr resonrL*e3, 
did we thoroughly appreciate tlte fisc^ that, 
whenevfir Brother Jonathan seema to be thms!.- 
Ing his hand into hia own pocket, he is, hi fsct. 
pleking oun^ I confess that the late mmt 
which the country has been running haa mate- 
rially changed my views as to the best method 
of raising revenue. If, by means of direct tax- 
atk>n, the bills for every extraordlnaty outlay 
wen brought under our immediate eye, so that, 
like thrifty housekeepers, we could see where 
and how faat the money was going, we should 
be less likely to commit extravagances. At 
present, these things are managed in such 
a hugger-moffier way, that we know not what 
we pay for ; the poor man ia charged aa much 
as the rich ; and, while we are saving and 
8crim|ring at the spigot, the government is 
drawing off at the imng. If we could know 
that a part of the money we expend for tea 
and oofliBe soes to buy powder and balls, and 
that it is Mexican blood which make* the 
doibes on oar backa more costly, it woald set 
some of us athinking. During the present fall, 
I have often pictured to myMlf a cpvenimeDt 
official entering my study and handing me the 
following bill:— 

WAsnurcTov, Seft m, ISm. 
Bit. Homn WtLBUB to WLntk itaantcU 

Dr. 

To his share of work done in Mexiee on 
partnership account, snndiy jobs, 
as below. 

" killing, maiming, and wonnding about 

5,000 Mexicans, . $ S.QO 

'* slaughtering one woman canying wa- 
ter to wounded, 10 

'* extra work on two diflisrent Sabbatha 
(one bombardment and one aa- 
aaultX whereby the Mexicans 
were prevented th>m dcflling 
themselves with the idolatries or 
high maas, ..... 

" throwing an sspecially fortunate and 
Protestant Dombshell into the 
Cathedral at Vera Ouz, whereby 
several female Papists were slain 
at the altar. 50 

*' his proportion of cask paid for con- 
quered territory 1.75 

" da da for conquering da L50 

"manuring da with new superior 
comrast called "American Citi- 
wm,* 50 

"extending the area of freedom and 

Protestantism, 01 

"glory. ....... .01 



S.flO 



ImmtdiaU paysum U n^uataL 



#0.87 



N. B. Thankftil for former favors, U. Si 
requests a continuance of patronage. Ordeca 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



199 



aerotad with n u An tm and ftcspiiteH. Temu 
M low M thoM of any ottier contnctor for the 
iaiae kind and style of irork. 

I QUI faaej the ofHclal anawering my look of 
boiToriritk, — "Tea, Bit, it looka like a high 
chaxgB, Sir ; bat in theae daya alaoghteriog ia 
•lan^tering." Verily, I would that every one 
osdentood that it waa : for It goes about ob- 
taining money onder the fiilaa pretence of being 
gloiy. For me, 1 have an imagination wliich 
plays me nncorafortable tricka. It liappena to 
me aometiniea to aee a alangbterer on hia way 
home from hia day'a work, and forthwith my 
imaginatioa pnta a eocked-hat upon hia head 
and epanlettea upon hli ahouldera, and seta 
him up as a candidate for the Preatdency. So, 
abo, on a recent public occaalon, as the place 
laaianed to the "Reverend Cleigy " la juat be- 
hind that of " Officers of the Army and Navy " 
in prooesaiona. It waa ray fortune to be seated 
at the dinner-table over against one of theae 
respectable persona. He waa arrayed aa (oat 
of hia own profeaalon) only kings, ooort-ofll- 
cers, and footmen are in Eoroiie, and Indiana 
in America. Now what does my over-offlcious 
imagination Imt set to work upon him, atrip 
him of hia gay livery, and preaeut him to me 
coatleaa, hia tronaen thniat into the tope of 
a pair of boota thick with clotted blood, and a 
haaiet on hia arm out of which lolled a gore- 
smeared axe, thereby deatroying my rellah for 
the temporal mercies upon the boaid befoce 
mel-H. W.) 



No. IX. 



A THIKO LtlTEB FROM B. SAWDT, E8Q. 

(Urov the following letter alender comment 
will be needful In what river Selemnna has Mr. 
Sawin baUied, that he haa become ao awlftly 
oblivioaa of his former fovea ? From an ardent 
and (as befits a soldier) confident wooer of that 
cov bride, the popular fiivor. we aee him aub- 
side of a sudden into the (I trust not Jilted) 
Clncinnatua, returning to nla ploosh with a 
■oodly aiaad branch of willow in hia hand ; 
isnntively returning, however, to a figurative 
ploQfl^ and flrom no profound afltetion for that 
honored implement of hiubandrv (for which, 
indeed. Mr. Sawin never dtaplayea anv decided 
predilection), but in order to be graeenilly aom- 
noned therefh>m to more congenial labors. It 
would seem that the character of the ancient 
Dictetor had become part of the recognized 
stock of our mo<lem political comedy, though, 
as our term of office extends to a quadrennial 
lenffth, the parallel is not so minutely exact aa 
could be desired. It ta sufficiently so, how- 
ever, for purposes of scenic repreaentetlon. 
An humble cottepe (if built of 1o0b, the better) 
forma the Arcadian background of the stufe. 
This rustic paradise ia labelled Ashland, Ja- 
alam. North Bend, Marahfleld, KInderhook, or 
BIten Bouge, aa occaalon deroanda. Before 
the door atendn a something with one handle 
(the other painted in proper perapectiveX 
which represents, In happy ideal vagneneas, 
the plougli. To this the detoatetl candidate 



mabea with delirlona Joy, welcomed aa a father 
by appropriate groupit of happy laborers, or 
mim it the Hucceasftil one is torn with diffi- 
culty, susteined alone by a noble sense of pub* 
liu duty. Only I have obaerved, that, if the 
scene be laid at B4ton Bouge or Ashland, the 
laborers are kept careAilly in the background, 
and are heard to shout ftom behind the scenes 
in a aiugular tone resembling nlulation, and 
accompanied by a aound not unlike vigorous 
clapping. Thia, however, mav be artistic^dly 
In keeping with the habite of the rustic popula- 
tion of those localltiea. The precise connection 
between agricultural pursuite and stetesman- 
ship, I have not been able, after diligent 
Inquiry, to discover. But, that my investiga- 
tions may not be barren of all milt, I will 
mention one corlooa statlstfcsal fSM;t, which I 
conalder thoroughly eatabliahed, namely, that 
no real former ever atteina practically beyond 
a seat in General Court, however theoretically 
qualified for more exalted atetion. 

It ia probable that some other proapect has 
been opened to Mr. Sawin, and that he has not 
made tliia sreat aacriflce without some definite 
understendlng in regard to a seat In the caf>> 
Inet or a foreign misaioo. It may be suppo.ied 
that we of Jaalam were not untouched by a 
feeling of villatic inride in beholding our towns- 
man oocupving so large a space in the pulilie 
eye. And to me, deeply revolving the qnali- 
ficationa necessary to a candidate in these fru- 
gal timea, those of Mr. 8. seemed necnliarly 
adapted to a successful cainimign. The loss of 
a leg, an arm, an eye, and four fingers reduced 
him ao nearlv to the condition of a vox a prca- 
ttrea nihil, that I could think of nothing but 
the loas of his head by which his chance could 
have been bettered. But since he haa chosen 
to balk our suffHigea, we must content our- 
selves with what we can get, remembering lac- 
tueoM ncn cms dandos, dum oarda* tuffieianL^' 
H. W.] 



I SP08B jon recollect thet I explained 

my gennle views 
In the last billet thet I writ, 'way down 

from Veery Cnze, 
Jest arter I'd a kind o* ben sponta- 

iKMiedy sot up 
To run anannennoosly fer the Presiden- 
tial cup; 
0* coarse it wom't no wish o' mine., 

't wQz ferflely distressin'. 
But poppiler enthosiasm gut so almighty 

pressin' 
Thet, though like sixty all along I fumed 

an' fussed an' sorrered, 
There did n't seem no ways to stop their 

bringin' on me forrerd : 
Fact is, they udged the matter so, I 

could n't help admittin' 
The Father o* his Country's shoes no 

feet but mine 'ould fit in. 
Besides the savin* o' the soles fer ages to 

succeed. 



J 



200 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



Seein* thet with one wiinnat foot^ a pair 

'd be more *n I need ; 
An', tell ve wnt, them shoes *U want a 

thund'rin sight o* patching 
£f this ere fashion is to last we 're gat 

into o* hatchin' 
A pair o' second Washintons fer every 

new election, — 
Though, fer ez number one 's oonsamed, 

rdon*t make no objection. 

I wuz agoin' on to say thet wen at fust I 

saw 
The masses would stick to 't I wnz the 

Country's father-*n-law, 
(They would ha' hed it Father, but I told 

em 't would n't do, 
Coz thet wuz sntthin' of a sort they 

could n't split in tn, 
An' Washinton hed hed the thing laid 

fairly to his door, 
Nor dars n't say 't wom't his'n, much 

ez sixty year afore,) 
But 't aint no matter ez to thet ; wen I 

wuz nomemated, 
'T worn't natur but wut I should feel 

oonsid'able elated, 
An' wile the hooraw o' the thing wuz 

kind o' noo an' fresh, 
I thought our ticket would ha' caird the 

country with a resh. 

Sence I 've come hum, though, an' looked 

round, I think I seem to find 
Strong ai^munts ez thick ez fleas to 

make me change my mind; 
It 's clear to any one whose brain aint 

fiir gone in a phthisis, 
Thet hail Columby's happy land is goin' 

thru a crisis. 
An' 't would n't noways du to hev the 

people's mind distracted 
By bein all to once by sev'ral pop'lar 

names attackted ; 
'T would save hoU haycartloads o' fuss 

an' three four months o' jaw, 
£f some illustrous paytriot should back 

out an' withdraw ; 
So, ez I aint a crooked stick, jest like — 

like ole (I swow, 
I dunno ez I know his name) — 1 11 go 

back to my plough. 

Wenever an Amerikin distinguished pol- 

itishin 
Begins to try et wut they call definin' 

his posishin. 



Wal, I, fer one, feel sun he aint gnt 

nothin' to define ; 
It 's so nine cases out o' ten, but jest that 

tenth is mine ; 
And 't aint no more 'n is proper 'n* right 

in sech a sitooation 
To hint the course you think '11 be the 

savin' o' the nation ; 
To fiink riffht out o' p'lit'cal strife aint' 

thought to be the thing, 
Without you deacon off the toon you 

want your folks should sing ; 
So I edvise the noomrous frien£ thet 's 

^ in one boat with me 
To jest up killock, jam right down thrir 

helium hard a lee. 
Haul the sheets taut, an', laying out upon 

the Suthun tack. 
Make fer the safest port they can, wicb. 

/ think, is Ole Zack. 

Next thing yon 'U want to know, I 

spose, vrat ai^munts I seem 
To see thet makes me think this ere '11 

be the stronoest team ; 
Fust place, I 've ben consid'ble round in 

bar-rooms an' saloons 
Agetherin' public sentiment, 'mongst 

Demmercrats and Coons, 
An' 't aint ve'y offen thet I meet a chap 

but wut goes in 
Fer Rough an' Ready, fair an' sciuare, 

hufs, taller, horns, an' skin ; 
I don't deny but wut, fer one, ez fur ez 1 

could see 
I did n't like at fust the Pheladelphy 

nomemee : 
I could ha' pinted to a man thet wuz, I 

guess, a peg 
Higher than nim, — a soger, to, an' with 

a wooden leg ; 
But every day with more an' more o' 

Taylor zeal I 'm bumin', 
Seein' wich way the tide thet sets to 

office is atnmin'; 
Wy, into Bellers's we notched the voti-s 

down on three sticks, — 
'T wuz Birdofrednm one, Cass aughi, an' 

Taylor twenty-six. 
An' bein' the on y canderdate thet wuz 

upon the ground. 
They said 't wuz no more 'n right thet I 

should pay the drinks all round; 
Ef I 'd expected sech a trick, I would n't 

ha' cut my foot 
By goin' an' votin' fer myself like a cou' 

sumed coot ; 



THE BIGLOW PAPEBS. 



201 



I 



It did n*t make no diff*rence, though ; I 

wish I may be cost, 
Ef Bellera wqz n't slim enough to say he 

would n't trust ! 



Another pint thet influences the minds 

o' sober jedges 
Is thet the 6in*ral hez n*t gut tied hand 

an' foot with pledges ; 
He hez n't told ye wut ne is» an' so there 

aint no knowin' 
Bat wut he may turn out to be the best 

there is agoin' ; 
This, at the on' v spot thet pinched, the 

shoe directly eases, 
Cos eveiT one is free to 'xpect percisely 

wut he pleases: 
I want free-trade; you don't; the Gin- 

'ral is n't bound to neither ; — 
I vote my way ; you, youm ; an' both 

air sooted to a T there. 
Ole Bough an' Beady, tu, 's a Wig, but 

without bein' ultry 
(He 's like a holsome hayin' day, thet 's 

warm, but is n't sultry ; 
He 's jest wut I should call myself, a 

km' o' 9craich ez 't ware, 
Thtt aint exacly all a wig nor wholly 

your own hair; 
I 've ben a Wig three weeks myself, 

jest o' this imd'rate sort. 
An' don*t find them an' Demmercrats so 

different ez I thought; 
They both act pooty much alike, an' 

push an' scrou^ an' cus ; 
They 're like two pickpockets in league 

fer Uncle Samwell s pus ; 
Each takes a side, an' then they squeeze 

the ole man in between em. 
Tarn all his pockets wrong side out an' 

quick ez lightnin' dean 'em ; 
To nary one on 'em I 'd trust a secon'- 

handed raU 
No lurder off 'an I could sling a bullock 

by the tail. 

Webster sot matters riflht in thet air 

MashfieV speech o' his'n ; — 
" Taylor," sez he, ** aint nary ways the 

one thet I 'd a chizzen. 
Nor he aint fittin' fer the place, an' like 

ez not he aint 
No more 'n a tou^h ole buUethead, an' 

no gret of a saint ; 
Bot then," sez he, *' obsanre my pint, 

he 's jest ez good to Tote fer 



Ez though the greasin' on him wom't a 

thing to hire Choate fer ; 
Aint it ez easy done to drop a ballot in 

a box 
Fer one ez 't is fer t' other, fer the bull- 
dog ez the fox T " 
It takes a mind like Dannel's, fact, ez big 

ez all ou' doors. 
To find out thet it looks like rain arter 

it fairly pours ; 
I 'gree with him, it aint so dreflle trou- 
blesome to vote 
Fer Taylor arter all, — it 's jest to go an' 

change your coat ; 
Wen he 's once greased, you '11 swaller 

him an' never know on 't, source, 
Unless he scratches, goin' down, with 

them 'ere Gin'ral's spurs. 
I 've ben a votin' Demmercrat, ez reg- 

'lar as a clock, 
But don't find goin' Taylor gives my 

narves no gret 'f a shock ; 
Truth is, the cutest leadin' Wigs, ever 

sence fust thev found 
Wich side the bread gut buttered on, hev 

kep' a ed^' round ; 
They kin' o' slipt the planks frnm out th' 

ole platform one Dy one 
An' made it gradooallv noo, 'fore folks 

know'd wut wuz done. 
Till, fur 'z I know, there aint an inch 

thet I could lay my han' on, 
But I, or any Demmercrat, feels comf t- 

ble to Stan' on. 
An' ole Wig doctrines act'Uy look, their 

occ'pants bein* gone. 
Lonesome ez staddles on a mash with- 
out no hayricks on. 

I spoee it 's time now I should give my 

thoughts upon the plan, 
Thet chipped the shell at Buffalo, o' set- 
tin' up ole Van. 
I used to vote fer Martin, but, I swan, 

I 'm dean disgusted, — 
He aint the man thet I can say is fittin' 

to be trusted ; 
He aint half antislav'ry 'nough, nor I 

aint sure, ez some to, 
He 'd go in fer abolishin' the Deestrick 

o' Columby ; 
An', now I come to recollec, it kin' o' 

makes me sick 'z 
A horse, to think o' wut he wuz in 

eighteen thirty-six. 
An* then, another thing ; — I guess, 

though mebby I am wrong, 



202 



THE BIGLOW PiLPERS. 



This Buff lo plaster tint agoin* to dror 

ftlmightj strong ; 
Some folks, I know, her gut th* idee 

thet No*thun doiighUl rise, 
Though, 'fore 1 see it ris an' baked, I 

would n't trust my eyes; 
T will take more emptms, a long chalk, 

than this noo party 's gnt. 
To giro sech heavy cakes ez them a 

start, I tell ye wnt 
Bat even ef they caird the day, there 

would n't be no endnrin* 
To Stan' npon a nlatform with sech crit- 
ters ez Van Baren ; — 
An' his son John, to, I can't think how 

thet 'ere chap ehould dare 
To speak ez he doos ; wy, they say he 

used to cnss an' swear ? 
I spoee he never read the hymn thet 

tells how down the stairs 
A feller with long legpwnz throwed thet 

would n't say his prayers. 
This Inings me to another pint : the 

leaders o' the party 
Aint jest sech men es I can act along 

with free an' hearty; 
They aint not qnite respectable, an' wen 

a feller's morrils 
Don't toe the straightest kb' o' mark, 

wy, him an' me test qnarrils. 
I went to a free soil meetin* onoe» an' 

wnt d' ye think I see f 
A feller was aspontin' there thet act'lly 

come to me, 
About two year ago last spring; ez nigh 

ez I can jedge. 
An* azed me ef I did n't want to sign 

the Tempmnoe pledge t 
He's one o' them that goes about an' sez 

vou hed n't ongh'ter 
Drink nothin*, momin', noon, or night, 

stronger 'an Taonton water. 
There 's one rule I 've ben enided by, in 

settltn' how to vote, ollen, — 
I take the side thet u n*t took by them 

consamed teetotallers. 

Ez fer the niggers, I Ve ben Sonth, an' 

thet hez cnanged my min'; 
A lazier ; more ongratefui set yon coold 

n't nowers fin'. 
You know I mentioned in my last thet 

I should buy a nigger, 
Ef I could make a purchase at a pooty 

mod' rate figger; 
So, ez there 's nothin' in the world I 'm 

fonder of 'an gunnin', 



I closed a bai^n finally to take a feller 



ninnin'. 



I shon'dered qoeen's-arm an' stumped 

out, an* wen I oome t' th' swara|\ 
T wom't very long afore I gut upon the 

nest o* Pomp; 
I come acrost a Kin* o' hat, an', plarin 

round the door. 
Some little woolly-headed cubs, €z 

many 'z six or more. 
At fust I thought o' firin', but thiuk 

tvriee is safest oilers; 
There aint, thinks I, not one on *eni 

but's wuth his ta-enty dollars. 
Or would be, ef I hed 'em back into t 

Christian land, — 
How temptin' all on 'em would look 

npon an auction-stand I 
(Not but wnt / hate Slavery, in th' 

abstract, stem to stam, — 
I leave it ware our fathers did^ a pririt 

State consam.) 
Soon 'z they see me, they yelled an' ron, 

but Pomn wuz out aboein' 
A leetle paten o' com he bed, or elae 

there aint no knowin* 
He would n't ha' took a pop at me ; but 

I hed gut the start, 
An' wen he looked, I vow he grossed 

ez thoajrii he 'd broke his heart ; 
He done it like a wite man, tu, ez naf • 

ral ez a pictur, 
The imp'dunt, pis'nous hypocrite ! was 

'an a boy oonstrictur. 
" You can't gum me, 1 tell ye now, an* 

ao you need n't try, 
I 'xpect my eve-teeth every mail, so jest 

shot up,' sez I. 
" Don't ffo to actin' ngly now, or else 

I '11 ttt her stri^ 
You 'd best draw kindlv, seein' 'z how 

I 've gut ye on the hip ; 
Besides, you darned ole fool, it aint do 

gret of a disaster 
To be benev'lently druv back to a con- 
tented master. 
Ware you hed Christian priv'ledges yen 

don't seem quite aware on. 
Or you 'd ha' never run away from bein' 

well took care on ; 
Ez fer kin' treatment, wy, he wuz so 

fond on ye, he said 
He'd give a fifty spot right out, to git 

ye, 'live or dead ; 
Wite folks aint sot by half ez much; 

'member I run away, 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



203 ! 



I 



L 



Wen I waz bound to Cap'n Jakes, to 

Mattysqumscot Bay ; 
Don' know him, likely? Spoae not; 

wal, the mean ole codger went 
An* offered — wat reward, think I Wal, 

it woru*t no Ies$ 'n a cent" 

Wal, I Jeat got 'em into line, an* dniT 

'em on afore me. 
The jns'noQs brutes, I 'd no idee o' the 

ill-will they bore me ; 
We walked till som'ers aboat noon, an' 

then it grew so hot 
I thought it best to camp awile, so I 

chose out a spot 
Jest under a magnoly tiee^ an' there 

rwht down I sot; 
Then I unstrapped my wooden le^ C02 

it begun to chafe, 
An' laid it down 'long side o' me, sup- 

posin* all wuz sa^ ; 
I made my darkies all set down aiound 

me in a ring^ 
An' sot an' kin* o* ciphered up how 

much the lot would bring; 
Bat, wile I drinked the peaceml cup of 

a pure heart an' min 
(Mixed with some wiskey, now an' then), 

Pomp he snaked up behin', 
An' creepin* grad'lly close tu, ez quiet 

ez a mink. 
Jest grabbed my leg, and then pulled 

foot, quicker 'an yon could wink. 
An', come to look, they each on *em 

hed gut behin' a tree. 
An' Pomp poked out the leg a piece. 

Jest so ez 1 could see. 
An' yelled to me to throw away my pis- 
tils an* my gun. 
Or else thet they *d cair off the leg, an' 

fairly cut an' run. 
I TOW I did n't b'lieve there wuz a de- 
cent alligatur 
Thet hed a heart so destitoot o' common 

human natur; 
However, ez there wom't no help, I 

finally give in 
An' heft ray arms away to git my leg 

safe back agin. 
Pomp gethered all the weapins up, an' 

then he come an* grinned. 
He showed his ivory some, I guess, an' 

sez, •* You 're fairly pinned ; 
Jest buckle on vour leg agin, an' git 

right up an come, 
T wun't du fer fammerly men like me 

to be so long frum hum." 



At fust I nut iny foot right down an* 
swore I would n't bucb 



<< 



ge. 



Jest ez vou choose," sez he, quite cool, 

" either be shot or trudge." 
So this bkck-hearted monster took an' 

act'lly druT me back 
Along the very feetmarks o' my happy 

moruin' track. 
An* kep' me pris'ner 'bout six months, 

an worked me, tu, like sin. 
Till I hed gut his com an' his Carliny 

taters in ; 
He made me lam him readin', tu (al- 
though the crittur saw 
How much it hut my morril sense to act 

agin the lawX 
So'st he could rend a Bible he 'd gut ; 

an' axed ef I could pint 
The North Star out ; but there I put 

his nose some out o' jint, 
Fer I weeled ronn' about sou'west, an', 

lookin' up a bit. 
Picked out a middlin' ahiny one an' tole 

him thet wuz it. 
Blnlly, he took me to the door^ an*, 

givin' me a kick, 
Ses, — <* Ef you know wut 's best fer ye, 

be off, now, double-quick ; 
The winter-time's a comin' on, an', 

though I gut ye cheap. 
You're so darned lazy, 1 don't think 

Tou *re hardly wuth your keep ; 
Beaiaes, the childrin 's growin' up, an' 

von aint jest the model 
I'd like to her 'em immertate, an' so 

you 'd better toddle 1 " 

Now is there anjrthin' on airth 'II ever 

prove to me 
Thet renegader slaves like him air fit 

fer bein' free ? 
D' you think they '11 suck me in to jine 

the Buff'lo chaps, an' them 
Rank infidels thet go agin the Scriptur'l 

cus o' Shem ? 
Not by a jugful! ! sooner 'n thet, I 'd 

go thm fire an' water ; 
Wen I hev once made up my mind, a 

meet'nhus aint sotter; 
No, not though all the crows thet flies 

to pick my bones wuz cawin', — 
I guess we 're in a Christian land, — 
Youra, 

BIRDOFREDUM SAWIN. 

[Here, patient reader, we take leave of each 
other, I trust with aoiiie inutual satisfaction. 
1 atkypoUUnt, for I love not that kiud which 



204 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



•klms dfpplngly over the mrfkce of the xMge, 
as iwallowi over a pool before rain. By iinch 
no pearls shall be sathered. But If no pearls 
there be (as, indeed, the world is nut without 
example of books wherefrom the longest-winded 
diver shall bring up no more than his proper 
handftil of mad), yet let us hope tiiat an oyster 
or two may reward adequate perseverance. If 
neither pearls nor oysters, yet is patience itself 
a gem worth diving deeply for. 

It may seem to some that too mnch space 
has been usurped by my own private lucunra- 
tions. and some may be fain to bring sninst 
me that old jest of him who preached lul his 
hearers out of the meetlng-honse save only the 
sexton, who, remaining for yet a little spftce, 
Arom a sense of offlcial duty, at last gave out 
also, and, presenting the keys, humbly requited 
our preacher to lock the doors, when he should 
have wholly relieveil himself of his testimony. 
1 confess to a satisAu-'tion in the self act of 
preaching, nor do I esteem a discourse to be 
wholly thrown away even upon a ideeping or 
unintelligent auditory. I cannot easily beOeve 
that the Gospel of Saint John, which Jacques 
Cartier ordered to be read in the Latin tongue 
to the Canadian savages, upon his first meeting 
with them, fell altogether upon stony ground 
For the eamestness of the preacher is a sermon 
appreciable by dullest intellects and most alien 
ears. In this wise did Eplscopius convert 
manv to his opinions, who yet understood not 
the language in which he discoursed. The 
chief thing is that the messenger believe that 
he has an authentic message to deliver. For 
counterfeit messengers that mode of treatment 
which Father John de Piano Carpini relates to 
have prevailed among the Tartars would seem 
effectual, and, perhaps, deserved enough. For 
my own part, I may biy claim to so much of 
the spirit of martyrdom as would have led roe 
to go into banishment with those clergymen 
whom Alphonso the Sixth of Portugal drave 
out of his kingdom for reAisins to shorten their 
pulpit eloquence. It is possible, tliat, having 
Deen invited into my brother Biglow's desk, I 
may have been too little scrupulous In using it 
for the venting of my own peculiar doctrines to 
a congregation drawn together in the expecta- 
tion and with the desire of hearing him. 



I am not wholly nnconselons of a recnlisriiy 
of mentsl organUation which impeu nie, like 
the railroad-engine with its trsiu of can, to ran 
backward for a short distance In onler to ob- 
tain a fkirer start 1 may compare mytelf to 
one fishing from the rocks when the tea nxiis 
high, who, misinterpreting tlie suction or tiie 
undertow for the biting of some larger fiih. 
Jerks suddenly, and finds that he has caught hot- 
toMf hauling in upon the end of his Une stnil 
of various alg<e, among which, nevertheless, tlie 
naturalist mav haply find somewhat to rt\*i 
the disappointment <^ the angler. Tet bare I 
conscientiously endeavored to adapt myself to 
the impatient tenqier of the age, daily de^jener 
ating more and more from the high standudof 
our pristine New ftigland. To the catalog 
of lost arts I would monmftiUy add abo tliat 
of listening to two-hour sermons. Surply we 
have been abridged into a race of pj-gnilea - 
For, truly, in those of the old disoonraiii )-t!t f 
subsisting to us in print, the emlless Bpinal 
column of divisions and subdivisions can )« 
likened to nothing so exactly as to the verte- 
bra of the saurians, whence the theiiri<t uur 
coAjecture a race of Anakim profioriioiMtE to 
the withstanding of these otlter monsters. I 
say Anakim rather than Nephelim, Ucstne 
there seem reasons for supposing tliat Uie nee 
of those whose heads (though no gianti) are 
constantly enveloped in duuds (which that 
name Imports) will never become extinct The 
attempt to vanquish the Innumerable Juiuf* 
ot one of those afore-mentioned diaronnn 
may supply us with a plausible interpretatioa 
of the second labor of Hercules, and his sue- 
cessAil experiment with fire affords us a useful 
precedent 

But while I lament the degeneracy (tf the age 
in this regard, I cannot refuse to snccomb to 
its influence. Looking out throu^di my study- 
window, I see Mr. Biglow at a mstance Ixwy 
in gathering his Baldwins, of whkh, to Judge 
by the number of barrels lying about nnder the 
trees, his crop is mora abundant than my uwn, 
— by which sight I am admonished to tnni lo 
those orchards of the mind wherein my labors 
may be more prospered, and apply niyiielf dili- 
gently to the preparation of my next itabbath'i 
discoarse. — U. w.] 









MELIBCE US-HIPPONAX. 



THE 



BtglotD ]p apers, 



SECOND SERIES. 

LOMGINUS. 



I *< J'aiinerois mietUz que mon fils apprinst aux tavemes ii parler, qu'aux escholes de la 
' parlerie." 

MONTAIGICB. 

,,Itnfcr ®i»ra4 iff au4 eUi €fpra4 vnb fan fo tooM ein Sad ncnnen aU bit £atiner 

FlSCHAKT. 

''Vim rebqs aliquando ipsa verborum humilitas affert" 

QUINTILUNUS. 



«f 



'^ O Ria lengo, 
Plantar^ une estilo ^ toun froun encnimit I " 



Jasmin. 




TO 

E. R. HOAR. 



^ 



■f. 



"Mnltot culm, quilma loqnendi ntlo non de«tt» InTenlu, qnoa eorloie potios loqoi dlxaris 
quun Lfttine ; quomodo et ilU Attica Miui Theophnttnm, bominem alioqai diiertiMlmam, 
annotata unlns afltetatlone Terbl, boapitem dixit, nee alio se Id deprebandiiae Interragata r»- 
apondit^ qnam qnod nimiom Attloa loqueretor."— QunnuAinja. 

" Et Anglioe Mmioiiieari aolebai popolo, Md •eenndiun Ungoam Norfolchie aU aatna et im* 
tiltaa eiat." — Cbovxca JocsLun. 

"Ia poUtiqae Mi una pieire attaob6e an e<m de la littAraton, et qui «n molna de aiz nois li 
aabmeiige. .... Cetta poUtiqiie ya oflbnser morteUement one moiUi det lectenra, et enniqra- 
I'antre qui I'a troav6e Uen autrement ipteiale et toeigiqne dant la Joonal da matiii.''— Hmi 

BCTLI. 



INTRODUCTION. 



Though prefaces seem of late to have 
fiillen under some reproach, they have at 
least this ad7antage, that they set us 
again on the feet of our personal conscious- 
ness and rescue us from the gregarious 
mock-modesty or cowardice of that toe 
vhlch shrills feebly throughout modem 
literature like the shrieking of mice in the 
walls of a house that has passed its prime. 
Having a few words to say to the many 
friends whom the " Biglow Papers " have 
won me, I shall accordingljr take the free- 
dom of the first person singular of the 
personal pronoun. Let each of the good- 
natured unknown who have cheered me by 
the written communication of their sym- 
pathy look upon this Introduction as a 
private letter to himself. 

When, more than twenty y^ars ago, I 
wrote the first of the series, I had no defi- 
nite plan and no intention of ever writing 
another. Thinking the Mexican war, as I 
think it still, a national crime committed 
in behoof of Slavery, our common sin, and 
wishing to put the feeling of those who 
thought as 1 did in a way that would tell, 
I imagined to myself such an upcountry 
man as I had often seen at antislavery 
gatherings, capable of district-school Eng- 
lish, bnt ^ways instinctively falling back 
into the natural stronghold of his homelv 
dialect when heated to the point of self- 
forgetfulness. When I began to carry out 
my conception and to write in my as- 
sumed character, I found myself in a strait 
between two perils. On the one hand, I 
was in danger of being[ carried beyond the 
limit of my own opinions, or at least of 
that temper with wnich every man should 
speak his mind in print, and on the other 
I feared the risk of seeming to vulgarize a 
deep and sacred conviction. I needed on 
occasion to rise above the level of mere 
po^w, and for this purpose conceived the 
nev. Mr. Wilbur, who should express the 
more cautious element of the New England 
character and its pedantry, as Mr. Biglow 
shonld serve for its homely common-sense 
virified and heated by conscience. The 
parson was to be the complement rather 
than the antithesis of his parishioner, and 



I felt or fancied a certain humorous ele- 
ment in the real identity of the two under 
a seeming incongruity. Mr. Wilbur's fond- 
ness for scraps of Latin, though drawn 
from the life, I adopted deliberately to 
heighten the contrast. Finding soon after 
that I needed some one as a mouthpiece of 
the mere drollery, for I conceive that true 
humor is never divorced from moral con- 
viction, I invented Mr. Sawin for the 
clown of my little puppet-show. I meant 
to embody in him that half-conscious un- 
morality which I had noticed as the recoil 
in gross natures from a puritanism that 
still strove to keep in its creed the intense 
savor which had long gone out of its faith 
and life. In the three I thought I should 
find room enough to express, as it was my 
plan to do, the popular feeling and opin- 
ion of the time. For the names of two of 
my characters, since I have received some 
remonstrances from very worthy persons 
who happen to bear them, I would say 
that they were purely fortuitous, proba- 
bly mere unconscious memories of sign- 
boards or directories. Mr. Sawin's sprang 
from the accident of a rhyme at the end 
of his first epistle, and I purposely chris- 
tened him by the impossible surname of 
Birdofredum not more to stigmatize him 
as the incarnation of " Manifest Destiny,** 
in other words, of national recklessness as 
to right and wrong, than to avoid the 
chance of wounding any private sensitive- 
ness. 

The success of my experiment soon began 
not only to astonish me, but to make me 
feel the responsibility of knowing that I 
held in my hand a weapon instead of the 
mere fencing-stick I had supposed. Very 
far from being a popular author under my 
own name, so far, indeed, as to be almost 
unread, I found the verses of my pseu- 
donyme copied everywhere ; I saw them 
pinned up in workshops ; I heard them 
quoted and their authorship debated ; I 
once even, when rumor had at length 
caught up my name in one of its eddies, 
had the satisfaction of overhearing it dem- 
onstrated, in the pauses of a concert, that 
/ was utterly incompetent to have writ- 



210 



THE BI6L0W PAPERS. 



ten anything of the kind. I had read too 
much not to know the utter worthlessness 
of contemporary reputation, especially aa 
regards satire, but I knew also that by 

giving a certain amount of influence it also 
ad its worth, if that influence were used on 
the right side. I had learned, too, that the 
first requisite of good writing is to have an 
earnest and definite pnqiose, whether es- 
thetic or moral, and that even good writing, 
to please long, must have more than an 
average amount either of imagination or 
common-sense. The first of these falls to 
the lot of scarcely one in several genera- 
tions ; the last is within the reach of many 
in every one that passes ; and of this an 
author may fairly hope to become in part 
the mouthpiece. If I put on the cap and 
bells and made myself one of the court- 
fools of King Demos, it was less to miUce 
his migestv laugh tnan to win a passage 
to his royal ears for certain serious thin^ 
which I had deeply at heart I say this 
because there is no imputation that could 
be more galling to any man's self-respect 
than that of being a mere jester. I en- 
deavored, by generalizing my satire, to 
^ve it what value I could beyond the pass- 
ing moment and the immediate applica- 
tion. How far I have succeeded I cannot 
tell, but I have had better luck than I 
ever looked for in seeing my verses survive 
to pass beyond their nonage. 
' In choosing the Yankee dialect, I did 
not act without forethought. It had long 
seemed to me that the great vice of Amer- 
ican writing and speaking was a studied 
want of simplicity, that we were in danger 
of coming to look on our mother-tongue 
as a dead language, to be sought in the 
grammar and dictionary rather than in the 
Leart, and that our only chance of escape 
was by seeking it at its living sources 
among those who were, as Scottowe says 
of Major-General Gibbons, ** diWnely illit- 
erate, l^resident Lincoln, the only really 
great public man whom these latter davs 
nave seen, was great also in this, that he 
was master — witness his speech at Get- 
tysburg — of a truly masculine English, 
classic i)ecau8e it was of no special period, 
and level at once to the highest and lowest 
of his countrymen. But whoever should 
read the debates in Congress might fancy 
himself present at a meeting of the city 
council of some city of Southern Gaul in 
the decline of the Empire, where barba- 
rians with a Latin varnish emulated each 
other in being more than Ciceronian. 
Whether it be want of culture, for the 
highest outcome of that is simplicity, or 
lor whatever reason, it is certain that very 
lew American writers or speakers wield 



their native language with the dtrectnen, 
precision, and force that are comnion as 
the day in the mother country-. We use 
it like Scotsmen, not as if it belonjared to 
us. but as if we wished to prove that we 
belonged to it, by showing our intimacy 
with its written ratlier than with its 
spoken dialect. And yet all the while our 
popular idiom is racy with life and vigor 
and originality, bucksome (as Milton xutA 
the woni) to our new occasions, and proves 
itself no mere graft by sending up new 
suckers from the old root in spite of us. 
It is only fh>m its roots in the liWnK gen- 
erations of men that a langua^ cmn be 
reinforced with fresh vigor for ita ueeds ; 
what may be called a literate dialect gravn 
ever more and more pedantic and foreign, 
till it becomes at last as unfitting a vehicle 
for living thought as monkish Latin. That 
we should idl oe made to talk like l^ooks 
is the danger with which we are threatem^l 
by the Umversal Schoolmaster, who does 
his best to enslave the minds and memo- 
ries of his victims to what he esteems the 
best models of English composition, that 
is to say, to the writers whose style is 
faultily correct and has no blood -warmth 
in it. No language after it has faded into 
dicliintf none that cannot suck up tte 
feeding juices secreted for it in the rich 
mother-earth of common folk, can briL'g 
forth a sound and lusty book. True vigor 
and heartiness of phrase do not pass from 
page to page, but from man to man, where 
the brain is kindled uid the lips sup]>led 
by downright living interests and by f as- 
sion in its very throe. Language is the 
soil of thought, and our own especially is 
a rich leaf-mould, the slow deposit of ages, 
the shed folia^ of feeling, fancy, and im- 
agination, wmch has suffered an eanh- 
cnange, Uiat the vocal forest, as Howell 
called it, may clothe itself anew with 
living green. There is death in the dic- 
tionary ; and, where language is too strictly 
limited by convention, the ground for ex- 
pression to grow in is limited also; and 
we get a poUed literature, Chinese dwarfs 
instead of healthy trees. 

But while the schoolmaster has been 
busy starching our language and smooth- 
ing it flat with the mangle of a Buppos«il 
classical authority, the newspaper re}iorter 
has been doing even more harm by stretch- 
ing and swelung it to suit his occasious. 
A dozen yean ago I began a list, which I 
have added to tnta time to time, of some 
of the changes which may be fairiy laid at 
his door. I give a few of them as allow- 
ing their tendency, all the more dangerous 
that their effect, like that of some poifcons, 
is insensibly cumolatire, and that they are 



L. 



INTRODUCTION. 



211 



snre at last of effect among a people whose 
chief reading is the daily paper. I give in 

Old Style. 

Was hanged. 

When the halter vai pat ronnd his neck. 



A great crowd came to see. 
Great fire. 
The fire spread. 

Hooae bnmed. 

Ihe fire was got under. 

ICanfeU. 

A hone and wagon ran against. 



The fHghtened horse. 
Sent for the doctor. 

The mavor of the city In a short speech wsl- 
corned. 



I shall say a few words. 

B^an his answer. 
A bystander advised. 



He died* 



In one sense this is nothing new. The 
school of Pope in verse ended by wire- 
drawing its phrase to such thinness that 
it coula bear no weight of meaning what- 
ever. Nor is fine writing by any means 
confined to America. All writers without 
imagination fall into it of necessity when- 
ever they attempt the figurative. I take 
two examples from Mr. Meri vale's ** His- 
tory of tne Romans under the Empire," 
which, indeed, is full of such. " The last 
yean of the a^ familiarly styled the Au- 
gustan were singularly barren of the liter- 
ary glories from which its celebrity was 
chieny derived. One by one the stars in 
its firmament had been lost to the world ; I 
Vinjil and Horace, etc, had long since 
died; the charm which the imagination of , 
Livy had thrown over the earlier annals of . 
Bome had ceased to shine on the details 
of almost contemporary history ; and if 
the flood of his eloquence still continued 
flowing, we can haroly suppose that the 
stream was as rapid, as fresn, and as clear 
as ever.** I will not waste time in criti- 
cising the had English or the mixture of 
metaphor in these sentences, but will 
iimpfy cite another from the same author 



two columns the old style and its modem 
equivalent 

New Style, 

Was launched into eternity. 

When the fatal noose was adjusted about the 
neck of the aiifortonate victim of liia own 
unbridled passions. 

A vast concourse was assembled to witness. 

Disastroos couflogration. 

The conflagration extended its devastating 
career. 

Edifice consumed. 

The progress of the devouring element was 
arrested. 

Individual was precipitated. 

A Taluable home attached to a vehicle driven 
by J. 8., in tlie employment of J. fi., collided 
with. 

The infmriated animal. 

Called into requisition the services of the 
ikmily physician. 

The chief magistrate of the metropolis, in well- 
chosen and eloquent lanj^uage, frequently 
mterrupted ^ the plaudits of the surging 
multitude, officially tendered the hospitali- 
ties. 

I shall, with your permission, beg leave to 
offer some brief observations. 

Commenced his rejoinder. 

One of those omnii>resent characters who, as 
if in pursuance of some previous arrange- 
ment, are certidn to be encountered In tlie 
vicinity when an accident occurs, ventured 
the suggestioa 

He decea.4ed, he passed out of existence, his 
spirit quitted its earthly habitation, winged 
its way to eternity, shook off its burden, etc. 

which is even worse. "The shadowy 
phantom of the Republic continued to flit 
oefore the eyes of the C(esar. There was 
still, he apprehended, a germ of senti- 
ment existing, on which a scion of his own 
house, or even a stranger, might boldly 
throw himself and raise the standanl of 
patrician independence." Now a ghost 
may haunt a murderer, but hardly, I 
should think, to scare him with the threat 
of taking a new lease of its old tenement. 
And fancy the scion of a hoase in the act 
of thrmcing itself upon a germ of sentiment 
to raise a standard I I am ^ad, since we 
have so much in the same kmd to answer 
for. that this bit of horticultural rhetoric 
is from beyond sea. I would not be sup- 
posed to condemn truly imaginative prose. 
There is a simplicity of splendor, no less 
than of plainness, and prose would be poor 
indeed if it could not find a tongue for 
that meaning of the mind which is l)ehind 
the meaning of the words. It has some- 
times seemml to me that in England there 
was a growing tendency to curtail language 
into a mere convenience, and to defecate it 
of all emotion as thoroughly as algebraic 
signs. This has arisen, no doubt, in port 



J 



212 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



from that healthy national contempt of 
huntbng which is characteristic of English- 
men, in part from that sensitiveness to the 
ludicrous which makes them so shy of ex- 
pressing feeling, but in part also, it is to 
be feared, from a growing distrast, one 
might almost say hatred, of whatever is 
super-material. There is sometliiiig sad 
in the scorn with which their journalists 
treat the notion of there being such a thing 
as a national ideal, seeming utterly to 
have forgotten that even in the affairs of 
this world the imagination is as much 
matter-of-fact as the understanding. If 
we were to trust the impression maae on 
us by some of the cleverest and most 
characteristic of their periodical litera- 
ture, we should think England hopelessly 
stranded on the good-humored cynicism of 
well-to-do middle-age, and should fancy it 
an enchanted nation, doomed to sit forever 
with its feet under the mahogany in that 
after-dinner mood which follows consci- 
entious repletion, and which it is ill- 
manners to disturb with any tonics more 
exciting than the quality of the wines. 
But there are already symptoms that a 
large class of Englishmen are getting 
weary of the dommion of consols and 
divine common -sense, and to believe that 
eternal three per cent is not the chief end 
of man, nor tiie highest and only kind of 
interest to which the powers and oppor- 
tunities of England are entitled. 

The quality of exaggeration has often 
been remarked on as typical of American 
character, and especially of American hu- 
mor. In Dr. Petn's Gear&ngtes Handhuch 
der Fmndiffiirter, we are told that the 
word humbug is commonly used for the 
exaggerations of the North- Americans. To 
be sure, one would be tempted to think 
the dream of Columbus half fulfilled, and 
that Europe had found in the West a 
nearer way to Orientalism, at least in dic- 
tion. But it seems to me that a great deal 
of what is set down as mere extravagance 
is more fitly to be called intensity and pic- 
tureHoueness, symptoms of the imagma- 
tive lcu:ulty in full health and strength, 
tliouffh producing, as yet. only the raw and 
fonnless material in whirh poetry is to 
work. By and by, j>erhaps, the world 
will see it fashione<l into ])oem and picture, 
and Europe, which will !>© hanl pushed 
for originality erelong, niav have to thank 
ns for a new sensation. T^he French con- 
tinue to find Shakespeare exaggerated 
because he treated English just as our 
country-folk do when they speak of a 
"steep price," or say that they "freeze 
to" a tiling. The first postulate of an origi- 
nal literature is that a people should use 



their language instinctively and nnoon- 
scioiuly, as if it were a lively part of thdr 
growth and personality, not as the mere 
torpid boon of education or inhentance^ 
Even Bums contrived to write very poor 
verse and prose in English. Vul^n»ms 
are often only poetry in the egg. The late 
Mr. Horace Mann, in one of his public 
addresses, commented at some length on 
the beautv and moral significanoe of the 
French phrase s'orienter, and called on 
his young friends to practise upon it in 
life. There was not a Yankee in hit 
andience whose problem had not always 
been to find out what was about eaat, and 
to shape his course accordingly. This 
charm which a familiar expression gains 
by being commented, as it were, and set 
in a new liflit by a foreign language, is 
curious and instructive. I cannot help 
thiukinjg that Mr. Matthew Arnold forgets 
this a little too much sometimes when he 
writes of the beauties of French style. It 
would not be hard to find in the works of 
French Academicians phrases as coarse as 
those he cites from Burke, only they are 
veiled by the imfamiliaritv of the language. 
But, however this may oe, it is certain 
that poets and peasants please us in the 
same way by translating words back again 
to their primal freshness, and infusing 
them with a delightful stran^neas whi^ 
is anything but alienation. What, for ex- 
ample, is Milton's **edge of battle " but a 
doing into English of the Latin eLcUsf 
Was die Oans gedacht das der Schwan 
voUbrachtf what the goose but thought, 
that the swan full brought (or, to de-§ax- 
onize it a little, what the goose conceived, 
that the swan achieved), and it may well 
be that the life, invention, and vigor shown 
by our popular siKwch, and the freedom 
with which it is shaped to the instant 
want of those who use it, are of the best 
omen for our having a swan at last. The 
part I have taken on myself is that of the 
humbler bird. 

But it is affirmed that there is some- 
thing innately vulgar in the Yankee dia- 
lect. M. Sainte-^nve says, with his 
usual neatness : " •/« difinie un patoU une 
ancienne langue qui a eu des malMeurs, 
ou encore une lanffue touiejeune et qui n'a 
p<u fait fortune." The first part of hi« 
definition applies to a dialect like the Pr«>- 
venial, the last to the Tuscan before Dante 
had lifted it into a classic, and neither, it 
seems to me, will quite fit a patois, which 
is not properly a dialect, but rather certain 
archaisms, proverbial phrases, and modes 
of pronunciation, which maintain them- 
selves among the uneducated side by side 
viith the finished and universally accept«l 



INTKODUCnON. 



213 



language. Norman French, for example, 
or Scotch down to the time of James vl., 
could hanlly be called jemi^om, while J should 
be half indmed to name the Yankee a Unyo 
rather than a dialect It has retained a 
few words now fallen into disuse in the 
mother country, like to tarry, to progress. 
Jteshy,/aU, and some others ; it has changed 
the meaning of some, as in freshet ; and 
it has clung to what I suspect to have been 
the broad Norman pronunciation of e 
(which Moliere puts into the mouth of his 
rustics) in such words as sarwuntj par/ect, 
tartoo, and the like. It maintains some- 
thins of the French sound of a also in 
worOB like cKdmber. danger (though the 
latter had certainly waon to take its pres- 
ent sound so early as 1636, when I find it 
sometimes spelt dainger). But in general 
it may be said that nothing can be found 
in it which does not still survive in some 
one or other of the English provincial dia- 
lects. I am not speaking now of Ameri- 
canisms properly so called, that Is, of 
words or phrases which have ^wn into 
use here either through necessity, inven- 
tion, or accident, such as a carry , a one- 
horse affair, a prairie, to vamose. Even 
these are fewer than is sometimes taken 
for granted. But I think some fair defence 
may be made against the charge of vulgar- 
ity. Properly speaking, vul^^ty is in 
the thoQgnt, and not in the word or the 
way of pronouncing it. Modem French, 
the most polite of languages, is barbarously 
vulgar if compared with the Latin out of 
which it has been corrupted, or even with 
Italian. There is a wider gap, and one 
implying greater boorishness, between 
mnisterium and mitier, or sapiens and 
saehant, than between druv and drove or 
agin and against, which last is plainly an 
arrant superlative. Our rustic coverlid 
is nearer its French original than the di- 
minutive cover^^, into which it has been 
knorantly corrupted in politer speech, 
r obtained from three cultivated English- 
men at different times three diverse pro- 
nunciations of a single word, — cntocum- 
ber^ cooeumber, and cucumber. Of these 
the first, which is Yankee also, comes 
nearest to the nasality of cnncombre. Lord 
Ossory assures us that Voltaire saw the 
best society in England, and Voltaire tells 
his countrymen that handkerchief was 
pronounced hanhereher. I find it so spelt 
m Haklnyt and elsewhere. Tliis enormity 
the Yankee still persists in, and as there 
is always a reason for such deWations from 
the sound as represented by the spelling, 
may we not suspect two sources of deriva- 
tion, and find an ancestor for kercher in 
couverture rather than in couvrechrft 



And what greater phonetic vagary (which 
Dryden, by the way, called fegary) in our 
lingua rustica than this her for couvre t 
I copy from the fly-leaves of my books 
where I have noted them from time to 
time a few ezamoles of pronunciation and 
phrase which wul show that the Yankee 
often has anti(|uity and very respectable 
literary authonty on his side. My list 
might be largely increased by referring to 
glossaries, but to them every one can go 
for himself, and I have gathered enough 
for my purpose. 

I will take first those cases in which 
something like the French sound has been 

S reserved in certain single letters and 
iphthongs. And this opens a curious 
question as to h6w long this Gallicism 
maintained itself in England. Sometimes 
a divergence in pronunciation has given 
us two words with different meanings, as 
in genteel Knd jaunty, which I find coming 
in toward the close of the seventeenth cen- 
tury, and wavering between genteel and 
jarUee. It is usual in America to drop 
the u in words ending in our, — a verv 
proper change recommended by HoweU 
two centuries ago, and carried out by liim 
so far as his printers would allow. This 
and the corresponding changes in mttsiouef 
musick, and the like, which he also advo- 
cated, show that in his time the French 
accent indicated by the superfluous letters 
(for French had once nearly as strong an 
accent as Italian) had sone out of use. 
There is plenty of Frencn accent down to 
the end of Elizabeth's reign. In Daniel we 
have riches' and counsel', in Bishop Hall 
cotnet', chapHain, in Donne jncturetf, vir- 
tue, presenaf, jnorial', merit', hainous', 
giant*, with many more, and Maraton's 
satires are full of them. The two latter, 
however, are not to be relied on, as they 
may be suspected of Cniauceiiiiiig. Her- 
rick writes baptime. The tendency to 
throw the accent backward began early. 
But the incongruities are perplexing, and 
perhaps mark the period of transition. In 
Warner's "Albion's England" we have 
creator* and crSature* side by side with the 
modem creator and creature. JC'nvy and 
e'nvying occur in Campion (1602), and yet 
envy' survived Milton. In some cases we 
have gone back again nearer to the French, 
as in rev'enue for reven'ue. I had been so 
used to hearing imbecile pronounced with 
the accent on the first syllable, which is in 
accordance with the general tendency in 
such matters, that I was surprised to find 
imbec'ile in a verse of Wordsworth. Tlie 
dictionaries all give it so. I asked a highly 
cultivated Englishman, and he declared 
for imbueeV, In general it may be as- 



214 



THE BIGLOW PAPEBS. 



Bumetl that accent will finally settle on the 
syllable dicUited by greater ease and there- 
foi*e quickness of utterance. Jilaa'phenwua. 
for example, is more rapidly pronounced 
than blaspftem'ous, to which our Yankee 
clings, following in this the usage of many 
of the older poets. Amer^ican is easier 
than Atnen'can, and therefore the false 
quantity has carried the day, though the 
true one may be found in Geoige Herbert, 
and even so late as Cowley. 

To come back to the matter In hand. 
Our "uplandish man" retains the soft or 
thin sound of the u in some words, such 
as rule, truth (sometimes also pronounced 
triUh, not trooth), while he says noo for 
new, and gives to view and few ao inde- 
scribable a mixture of the two sounds with 
a slight nasal tincture that it may be called 
the Yankee shibboleth. Spenser writes 
deow {dew) which can only be pronounced 
with the Yankee nasality, in rule the 
least sound of a precedes the u. I find 
reule in Pecock's " Repressor.*' He prob- 
ably pronounced it rayooU\ as the old 
Frencn word from which it is derived was 
very likely to be sounded at first, with a 
reminiscence of its original regula. Tin- 
dal has rueler, and the Coventry Plays 
have preudent. As for noo, may it not 
claim some sanction in its derivation, 
whether from nouveau or ne^f^ the an- 
cient sound of which may very well have 
been noof, as nearer novut f Be^ would 
seem more like to have come from huffe 
than fmm heeuf, unless the two were mere 
varieties of spelling. The Saxon few may 
have caught enough from its French cousin 
pea to claim the benefit of the same doubt 
as to sound ; and our slang phrase a few 
(as " I licked him a few") may well ap- 
peal to un peu for sense and authority. 
Kay, might not lick itself turn out to be 
the goo<l old word lam in an English dis- 
guise, if the latter should claim descent as, 
})erhapSf he fairly might, from the Latin 
a inhere t The New England ferce for 
Jiiirc€f and perce for pierce (sometimes 
heard as fairce and patrce), are also Nor- 
man. For its antiquity I cite the rhyme 
of cerae and pierce in Chapman and Donne, 
an<l in some commendatory verses by a 
Mr. Berkenhead before the poems of Fran- 
cis Beaumont Our pairlouit for perilous 
is of the same kind, and Is nearer Shake- 
speare's parlous than the modem pronun- 
ciation. One other Gallicism survives in 
our pronunciation. Perhaps I should rather 
call it a Kemi-Gallicism, for it is the result 
of a futile effort to repro*iuce a French 
sound with English lips. Thus for joint, 
emplny, rm/fil^ we have jynt, emply^ rule, 
the last differing only from rile (roU) in a 



Srolongation of the y sonnd. In Walter 
e Biblesworth I find aolites Englished by 
gistes. This, it is true, may have been 
jjTouounced Jeests, but the pronundatioo 
J gates must have preceded the present 
spelling, which was no doubt adopted after 
the radical meaning was forgotten, as ana- 
logical with other words in oi. In the 
same way after Nonnan-French influfnoe 
had softened the / out of would (we already 
find woud for vetU in N. F. poems), shovUi 
followed the example, and then an I yitA 
put into could, where it does not belong, 
to satisfy the logic of the eye, which has 
affected the pronunciation and even the 
spelling of English more than is oomnionly 
suppom. I meet with egsler for oysitr 
as early as the fourteenth century. I find 
dystrye for destroy in the Coventry Plays, 
VMge in Bishop Hall and Middleton Uie 
dramatist, bile in Donne and Chrononfao- 
tontholo^, line in Hall, ryaU and ck^st 
(for choice) in the Coventry Plays. In 
Chapman's "All Fools" is the misprint of 
employ for imply, fairly inferring an iden- 
tity of sound in tne last syllable. Indeed, 
this pronunciation was habitual till after 
Pope, and Ko^rs tells us that the ek^gant 
Gray said naise for noise Just as our rus- 
tics still do. Our comisn (which I find 
also in Herrick) remembers the French 
better than cornice does. While, clinging 
more closelv to the Anglo-Saxon in drop- 
ping the ff irom the end of the present par- 
ticiple, the Yankee now and then pleases 
himself with an experiment in French na- 
sality in words ending in n. It is not, so 
far as my experience goes, verv common, 
though it may formerly have been more 
so^ Capting, for instance, I never heard 
save in jest, the habitual form being kepp'n,. 
But at any rate it is no invention of ours. 
In that delightful old volume, ** Ane Com- 
pendious Buke of Godly and Spirituall 
Songs," in which I know^not whether the 
piety itself or the simplicity of its expres- 
sion be more charming, I find buraing, 
garding, and eousing. and in the State 
Trials uncertinq used bv a gentleman. I 
confess that I like the n better than the n^. 
Of Yankee preterites I find risseandrixe 
for rose in Middleton and Dryden, elim. in 
Spenser, chees (chose) in Sir John Man- 
devil, give (gave) in the Coventrr Playa, 
shet (shut) in (folding's Ovid,» hetm Chap- 
man and in Weever*s Epitaphs, thriv and 
smit in Drayton, quit in Ben Jonson and 
Henry More, and pled in the Pastou 
Letters, nay, even in the fastidious Lan- 
dor. Rid for rode was anciently com- 
mon. So likewiu was see for saw, but I 

• Cited in Warton's Obs. Fluxy <|. 



THK BIGU>W PAFEBS. 



215 



find it in no writer of anthoritj (except 
Oolding), unlesa CHiaacer's aeie was so 
toonded. Shew is used by Hector Boece, 
Giles Fletcher, Dmmmona of Hawthom- 
deo, and in the Paston Letters. Similar 
strong preterites, like snew, thew, and even 
mew, are not without example. I find sew 
lor tewed in Piers Ploi^hmau. Indeed, the 
anomalies in English preterites are per- 
plexing. We have probably transferred 
/lew ftomjlow (as the preterite of which I 
nave heard it ) to/Iy because we had another 

?«terite in JleeL Of weak preterites the 
ankee retains grotoed, Uowed, for which 
he has good authority, and less often 
i hunoed. His sot is merely a broad sound- 
ing of sat, uo more inelegant than the com- 
mon got tor aai, which he further degrades 
into guL when he says daa-st, he uses a 
form as old as Chauoer. 

The Yankee has retained something of 
tiie long sound of the a in such words as 
Qxe, vxuL pronouncing them exe, v>ex 
(«hortenecl from tax, mux). He also says 
hev and hed {have, had) for have and had. 
In most cases he follows an An^lo-Saxon 
usage. In aix for axle he oertamly does. 
I find wex and aiaches {ashes) in Fecock, 
and exe in the Paston Letters. Oolding 
rhymes wax with wexe and spells eAo/^^n^e 
cheUnge, Chaucer wrote Aencfy. Drydbn 
rhymes can with men, as Mr. Biglow 
would. Alexander Qill, Milton's teacher, 
in his " Logonomia " cites hex for hath as 
peculiar to Lincolnshire. I find hayth in 
vollier^s ** Bibliographical Account of Early 
English Literature ^ under the date 1584, 
and Lord Cromwell so wrote it. Sir Chris- 
topher Wren wrote belcony. Our feet is 
only the 0. F. faieL ThaSm for them was 
common in the sixteenth century. We 
have an example of the same thing in the 
double form of the verb tkrash, thresh. 
MThile the New-Englander cannot be 
brouffht to say instead for instid (com- 
monly *stid where not the last word In a 
sentence), he changes the i into e in red for 
rid, tell for ti^l, hendsr for hinder, rense 
for rinse. I find red in the old interlude 
of " Thersytes," tell in a letter of Dabome 
to Henslowe, and also, I shudder to men- 
tion it, in a letter of the great Duchess of 
Marlborough, Atossa herself 1 It occurs 
twice in a single verse of the (Chester Plays, 



n 



Tdl the day of dome, teU the besmes blow.' 



From the word blow is formed blmvth, 
which I heard asain this summer after a 
long interval. Mr. Wright* explains it as 

* Dtetionarr of Obsolete and Provincial 



meaning "a blossom." With us a single 
blossom hi a blow, while hlowth meana the 
blossoming in general. A farmer would 
say that there was a good blowth on liis 
fniit-trees. The word retreats farilier in- 
land and away from the railwavs, year by 
year. Wither rhymes hinder with slender, 
and Shakespeare and Lovelace have renchfd 
for rinsed. In " (Hmmer Ourton " is sence 
for since ; Marlborough's Duchess so writes 
it, and Donne rhymes since with Amveas 
and 2Kx/ienc«, Bishop Hall and Otway with 
pretence, Chapman with citizens, Drvden 
with providence. Indeed, why should not 
sithence take that fomiK Dryden's wi!e 
(an earl's daughter) has tell for till, Mar- 
garet, mother of Henry VII., writes aeche 
for such, and our ^ finds authority in the 
old form peje. 

E sometimes takes the place of u, as 
jedge, tredye, bresh. I find tredge in tlie 
interlude oi "Jack Jugler," bresh in a ci- 
tation by Collier from " London Cries " of 
the middle of the seventeenth centurv, and 
resche for rush (fifteenth centurv) m the 
very valuable " Volume of Vocabularies " 
edited by Mr. Wright. Jtesce is one of the 
Anglo-Saxon forms of the word in Bos- 
worth's A. S. Dictionary. 6oldinghas</i«^. 
The Yankee always shortens the u in tlie 
ending ture, making ventur, fuitur, pietur, 
and so on. This was common, also, among 
the educated of the last generation. I aui 
inclined to think it may have been once 
universal, and I certainly think it more 
elj^ant than the vile vencher, naycher, 
jnaecher, that have taken its place, sound- 
mg like the invention of a lexicographer 
with his mouth full of hot pudding. Nash 
in his '' Pierce Penniless " has ventur, and 
so spells it. and I meet it also in Spenser, 
Dra]rton, Ben Jonson, Herrick, and Prior. 
Spenser has torVrest, which can be con. 
tracted only from tortur and not from 
torcher. Quarles rhymes ruUure with cre- 
ator, and Dryden with satire, which he 
douotless pronounced according to its older 
form of siUyr. Quarles has also torture 
and mortar. Mary Boleyn writes kreatur. 

I shall now give some examples wliich 
cannot so easily be ranked under any spe- 
cial head. Gill chai^ges the Eastern coun- 
ties with kiver for cover, and ta for to. 
The Yankee pronounces both too and to 
like ta (like the ton in touch) where thev 
are not emphatic When they are, both 
become tu. In old spelling, to is the com- 
mon (and indeed correct) form of too. wliith 
is only to with the sense of in aailitvm. 
I suspect that the sound of our tw has 
caught something from the Frencli tout, 
and it is possible that the old too t(*o in not 
a reduplication, but a reminisoence of the 



216 



THE BI6L0W PAPKBS. 



feminine form of the same word (tauie) as 
anciently pronounced, with the e not yet 
silenced. GUI gives a Northern origin to 
ffeaun for gown and vxmnd for wouaid 
{vulnuB), Lovelace has wawid, bnt there 
is something too dreadful in suspecting 
Spenser (who boreaUzed in his pastorals) 
of having ever been guiltv of ffeaun / And 
yet some delicate mouths even now are 
careful to observe the Hibemicism of 
geard for guard, and ge-uH for girl. Sir 
Philip Sidney (civrfftsoosten/) wrote /*»r 
for far, I would hanlly have believed it 
ha*t I not seen it in /aesimiU. As some 
consolation, I find furder in Lonl Bacon 
and Donne, and Wither rhymes far with 
cur. The Yankee, who omits the final d 
in many words, as do the Scotch, makes 
up for it by adding one in geoiuuL The 
purist does not feel the loss of the <i sen- 
sibly in laien and ycm, fh>m the former of 
which it has dropped again after a wrong- 
ful adoption (retained In leutndrg), while 
it properly belongs to the latter. But 
what shall we make of git^ pit, and yia t 
I find yis vkdgU in Warner's " Albion's 
England." yet rhyming with toU. admit, 
ami JU in Donne, with it^ in the " Re- 
venger's Tra^y," Beaumont, and Suck- 
ling, with writ in Dryden, and latest of all 
wiUi unt in Sir Hanbury Williams. Prior 
r!iymes>S^»n^ and begetting. Worse is to 
come. Among others, Donne rhymes agcUn 
with gin. and Quarles repeatedly with in. 
lien for oeen, of which our dear Whittier 
is so fond, has the authority of Sackville, 
"Gammer Gurton" (the work of a bishop), 
Chapman, Dryden, and many more, though 
bin seems to have been the oommon form. 
Whittier's accenting the first syllable of 
ram'ance finds an accomplice in Drayton 
among others, and though manifestly 
wrong, is analogous with Rom'ana. Of 
other Yankeeisms, whether of form or pro- 
nunciation, which I have met with I add a 
few at random. Pecock writes aowdiers 
{soaers, aoudoyers)^ and Chapman and Gill 
SiMer. This absorption of the I is com- 
mon in various dialects, especially in the 
Scottish. Pecock writ-es also biyende^ and 
the authors of "Jack Jugler" and "Gam- 
mer Gurton" yencUr. The Yankee in- 
cludes " yon " in the same category, and 
says " hither an* yen," for " to and fro.*' 
<Cf. German Jenseits.) Pecock and plenty 
more have tcraatU. Tindal has agynste, 
gretUr, thttt, (mdone, dehyti, and tcace. 
" Jack Jngler " has acacely (which I have 
often heanf, though akurce is the common 
form), and Donne and Dryden make great 
rhyme with set. In the inscription on 
Caxton's tonjb I find ynd for end, which 
the Yankee more often makes eend, still 



using familiarly the old phrase "rig^t 
anend *' for " oontinuously.^* His " ttret 
(straight) along" in the same sense, which | 
i thought pecmiar to him, I find in Pecock. 
Tindal s debytt for deputy is so perledly 
Yankee that I could almost fancy the brmve 
martyr to have been deacon of the First 
Parish at Jaalam Centre. "Jade Jugler** 
further gives us pla^sent and sorlayistf. 
Dryden rhymes otrtann with parting, and 
Chapman and Ben Jonsou use certain^ aa 
the Yankee always does, for ctrlaudy. 
The " Coventry Mysteries " have oooapied^ 
vnaMoge, nateraUe, materal {material), 
and metaeUa, — all excellent Yankeeiama. 
In the "Quatre fils, Aymon" (15M),* is 
vertua for virtwms. Thomas Fuller called 
volume voUum, I suspect, for he a>eils it 
votumne. However, per acntm, \ankees 
habitually say colume for column^ In- 
deed, to prove that our ancestors brou^t 
their pronunciation with them from the 
Old Country, and have not wantonly de- 
based their mother tongue, I ueeti only to 
cite the words acriptury larall, a t k i a ta ^ and 
cherfulneaa from Governor Bradford's 
" History." So the good man wrote tliem, 
and BO the good desMndants of his fellow- 
exiles atill pronounce them. BraniptoD 
Gurdon writes shet in a letter to Winthrop. 
Purtend {pretend) has crept like a aerpeot 
into the " Paradise of Dainty Devices '* ; 
pmvide, which is not so bad, is in Chaucer. 
These, of course, are universal vnlgariiinis|y 
and not peculiar to the Yankee. Butler 
has a Yankee phrase, and pronandation 
too, in "To which these carr*in»-on did 
tend." Langham or Laneham, who wrote 
an aooount of the festivities at Kenilworth 
in honor of Queen Bess, and who eridently 
tried to spell phonetically, makes sorro tgs 
into sorors. Herrick writes hcUaw for 
haUoo, and perhaps pronounced it (Jlor- 
reaco auggerenal) holla, as Yankees do. 
Why not, when it comes from hold t I 
^nd jfelasehyvpe (fellowship) in the Coven- 
try Plays, gpenser and his queen neither 
of them scrupled to write e^ore, and the 
former feels no inelegance even in dboto 
and idee, *Fore was common till after 
Herrick. Dryden has do*a for does, and 
his wife spells toorae woaee. Af eared was 
once universal. Warner has ery for ever a / 
nay, he also has illy, with which we were 
once ignorantly reproached by pers<ms 
more familiar with Murrajr's Graniniar 
than with English literature. And whv 
not illy t Mr. Bartlett says it is " a word 
used by writers of an inferior class, who 
do not seem to pwceive that ill is itself an 

• Cited In Collief. (I give my authority 
where I do not quote flrom the oiipoal book.) 



INTBODUCTION. 



217 



•dverl^ without the termination lyJ* and 

? notes Dr. Messer, President of Brown 
Fniversity, as asking triumphantly, " Why 
don*t yon say welly t" I should like to 
have had Dr. Messer answer his own ques- 
tion. It would be truer to say that it was 
used by people who still remembered that 
iU was an adjective, the shortened form of 
tvU, out of which Shakespeare ventured to 
make evilly, I find illy m Warner. The 
objection to iUy is not an etymological 
one, but simply that it is contrary to good 
usage, — a very sufficient reason, ill as 
an adverb was at first a vulearism, pre- 
cisely like the rustic's when he says, " I 
was treated bad," May not the reason of 
this exceptional form be looked for in that 
tendency to dodge what is hard to pro- 
nounce, to which I have already alluded ? 
If the letters were distinctlv uttered, as 
they should be, it would take too much 
time to sav Ul-iy, well-ly, and it is to be 
observed that we nave avoided anally * and 
tally in the same way, though we add iah 
to them without hesitetion in tmallisk and 
iallish. We have, to be sure, dully and 
fully, but for the one we prefer stupidly^ 
and the other (though this may have come 
from eliding the y before as) is giving way 
to fuU, The uneducated, whose utterance 
is slower, still make adverbs when they 
will by adding like to all manner of adjec- 
tives. We have had biff chaiiged upon us, 
because we use it where an Englishman 
would now use yreat, I fully acxmit that 
it were better to distinguish between them, 
allowing to biff a certain contemptuous 
quality ; but as for authority, I want none 
better than that of Jeremy Taylor, who, 
m his noble sermon " On the Ketnm of 
Prayer,** speaks of "Jesus, whose spirit 
was meek and gentle up to the greatness 
of the biggest example. ** As for our double 
negative, I shall waste no time in quoting 
instances of it, because it was once as uni- 
versal in English as it still is in the neo- 
Latin languages, where it does not strike 
us as vulgar. I am not sure that the loss 
of it is not to be regretted. But surely 
I shall admit the vulganty of slurring or 
altogether eliding certoin terminal conso- 
nants ? I admit that a clear and sharp-cut 
enunciation is one of the crowninff charms 
and elegancies of speech. Words so ut- 
tered are like coins fresh from the mint, 
compared with the worn and dingy drudges 
of long service, — I do not mean American 
coins, for those look less badly the more 
they lose of their original ugliness. No 
one is more painfully conscious than I of 

* Th« won! orotiTs in a letter of Maiy Boleyn, 
in Oolding, and Warner. 



the contrast between the rifle-crack of an 
Englishman's yes and no, and the wet-fuse 
drawl of the same monosyllables in the 
mouths of my countrymen. But I do not 
find the dropping of ^nal consonants disa- 
greeable in Allan Ramsay or Bums, nor do 
I believe that our literary ancestors were 
sensible of that inelegance in the fusing 
them together of which we are conscious. 
How manv educated men pronounce 
the t in chestnut i how many Ks,y pent- 
ise for penthouse, as they should ? When 
a Yankee skipper says that he is "boun* 
for Gloster " (not Gloucester, with the leave 
of the Universal Schoolmaster), he but 
speaks like Chaucer or an old ballad-singer, 
though they would have pronouncea it 
boon. This is one of the cases where the 
d is surreptitious, and has been added in 
compliment to the verb bind, with which 
it has nothing to do. If we consider the 
root of the word (though of course I grant 
that every race has a light to do what it 
will with what is so peculiarly its own as 
ite speech), the d has no more right there 
than at the end of gone, where it is often 
put by children, who are our best guides 
to the sources or linguistic corruption, and 
the best teachers of ite processes. Crom- 
well, minister of Henry VIII., writes worle 
for world. Chapman has i«m for toand, 
and lavm has rightfully displaced laund, 
though with no thought, I suspect, of ety- 
mology. Rogers tem us that Lady Ba- 
thnrst sent nim some letters written to 
William III. by Queen Mary, in which 
she addresses him as " Dear UuAan, " The 
old form escpoun' which our fanners use, 
b more correct than the form with a bar- 
barous d tecked on which has teken ite 
place. Of the kind opposite to this, like 
our ffoumd for govm, and the London cock- 
ney's wiTul for ioine, I find drovmd for 
drovm in the "Misfortunes of Arthur" 
(1584^ and in Swift. And, by the way, 
whence came the long sound of wind which 
our poete still retein, and which survives 
in ''winding" a horn, a totally different 
word from " winding " a kite-string i We 
say behind and hinder (comparative), and 
yet to hinder. Shakespeare pronounced 
hind Hnd, or what becomes of his play on 
that word and kin in Hamlet ? Nay, did 
he not even (shall I dare to hint it ?) drop 
the final d as the Yankee still does ? John 
Lilly plays in the same way on kindred 
and ki-ndmss. But to come to some other 
ancient instances. Warner rhymes bounds 
with crownSy arounds with townSj text with 
sex, worst with crust, interrupts with cttps; 
Drayton, defects with sex; Chapman, 
am^ids with cleanse; Webster, d^ects 
with checks; Ben Jonson, minds with 



218 



TH£ BIGLOW PAPEBS. 



cotnbinet; Marston, tnut and obsequious, 
dothes and shows ; Dryden gives the same 
sound to clothes, and has also minds with 
designs. Of course, I do not affirm that 
their ears may not have told them that 
these were imperfect rhymes (though I am 
by no means sure even of that), but thev 
surely would never have tolerated any such 
had they suspected the least vulgarity in 
them. Prior nas the rhyme Jirst and trust, 
but puts it into the mouth of a landlady. 
Swift has stunted and burnt it, an inten- 
tionally imperfect rhyme, no doubt, but 
which I cite as giving precisely the Yankee 
pronunciation of burned. Donne couples 
in unhallowed wedlock (nfter and matter, 
thus seeming to give to both the true Yan- 
kee sound ; and it is not uncommon to find 
c^fter and daughter. Worse than all. In 
one of Dodsley's Old Plays we have onions 
rhyming with minions^ — I have tears in 
my eyes while I record it. And yet what 
is viler than the universal Misses (Mrs.) 
for Mistress t This was once a vulsarism, 
and in "The Miseries of Inforcea Mar- 
riage'* the rhyme (printed as pro^ in 
Dodsley's Old Plays by Ck)llier), 

** To make my young mistress, 
DeUghUnginMMes," 

U put in the mouth of the clown. Our 

Seople say If^'un for Indian. Tlie ten- 
ency to make this change where i follows 
d is common. The Italian aiomo and 
French Jour from diumus are familiar ex- 
amples. And vet Ir^fun is one of those 
depravations which the taste challen^ 
peremptorily, though it have the authontv 
of Cliarles dbtton — who rhymes " Indies 
with ''cringes" — and four English lexi- 
cogntphers, beginning with Dr. Sheridan, 
bid us say invtdgeous. Yet after all it is 
no worse than the debasement which idl 
our tenninations in tion and tience have 
undergone, which yet we hear with resig- 
nashun and payshunce, though it might 
have aroused both impat-i-ence and inaig- 
na-ti-itn in Shakespeare's time. When 
George Herbert tells us that if the sermon 
be dull, 

" Ood takes a text and preacheth pati-enoe," 

the prolongation of the word seems to con- 
vey some hint at the longanimity of the 
virtue. Consider what a poor curtal we 
have made of Ocean. There was some- 
thing (if his heave and expanse in o-ce-an^ 
and Fletcher knew how to use it when he 
wrote so fine a verse as the second of these, 
the liest deep-sea verse I know, — 

" In rlespemte storniB stem with a little rudder 
The tumbling rulnB of the ocean." 



Ooeanus was not then wholly shorn of lus 
divine proportions, and our modern oshus^ 
sounds like the gush of small -beer in com- 

Sarison. Some other contractions of ours 
ave a vulgar air about them. More '« for 
more than^ as one of the worst, may stsnd 
for a type of such. Yet our old dramatists 
are full of such obscurations (elisions they 
can hardly be called) of the th, making 
fohe'r of whether, bro'r of brother, jano'r m 
smother, mo'r of mother, and so on. In- 
deed, it is this that explains the word rare 
(which has Dryden's support), aud which 
we say of meat where an Englishman would 
use underdone. 1 do not believe, with the 
dictionaries, that it had ever anything to 
do with the Icelandic hrar {raw), as it 
plainly has not in rareripe, vrhich means 
earlier ripe. And I do not believe it, for 
this reason, that the earlier form of the 
word with us was, and the commoner now 
in the inland parts still is, so far as I can 
discover, raredone. Golding has "ea 
reere-rosted." I find rather as a monosyl- 
lable in Donne, and still better, as giving 
the sound, rhyming with fair in Warner. 
There is an epigram of Sir Thomas Browne 
in which the words raUter than maka 
a monosyllable : 

" What fUrie is t to take Death's part 
And nther than by Nature, die by Art ! *' 

The contraction more *n I find in the old 
play " Fuimus Troes," in a verse where 
the measure is so strongly accented as to 
leave it beyond doubt, — 

"A goUlen crown whose heira 
More than half the wortd sabdoe." 

It mar be, however, that the contraction is 
in "th' orid." It is unmistakable in the 
*' Second Maiden's Tragedy " : ^ 

" It were but fblly, 
Dear soul, to boast of won (Jkan I can perfimn." 

Is our gin for given more violent than 
mar'l for marvel, which was once common, 
and which I find as late as Herrick ? Nay, 
Herrick has gin (spelling it a*en), too, as 
do the Scotch, who agree with us likewise 
in preferring diinUy to chimney. 

I will now leave pronunciation and turn 
to words or phrases which have been sup- 
posed peculiar to us, only pausing to pick 
up a smgle dropped stitch, in the pronun- 
ciation of the word sup'reme, which I had 
thought native till I found it in the well- 
languaged Daniel I will bc^n with a 
word of which I have never met with any 
example in print. We express the firat 
stage of withering in a green plant sudden- 



DlTKODtJCnON. 



219 



L 



\y cut down by the verb to wilt. It is, of 
eoune, own cousin of tlie G^nnan welken, 
but I have never come upon it in print, 
and my own books of reference g^ve me 
faint help. GraiT gives vfelhirtf nuurceseeref 
and refers to wem (ioeak)^ and conjectur- 
ally to A. S. hvelan. The A. 3. toealwian 
{to vrither) is nearer, bat not so near as 
two words in the Icelandic, which perhaps 
put OS on the track of its ancestry, — vetgi 
tfpefaeere (and velln, with the derivative) 
meaning corUaminare, Wilt, at any rate, 
is a 0XM word, filling, as it does, a sensible 
gap between dirooping and withering, and 
the imaginative phrase "he wilted right 
down," uke "he caved right in," is a tme 
Americanism. Wilt occurs in &igli8h pro- 
vincial glossaries, bat is explained by 
icither, which with as it does not mean. 
We have a few words such as eaehe, a^iog, 
cany {pcrtage). shoot {chiUe), timber {for- 
t9t\ bushwhack (to pull a boat along by 
the hashes on the edge of a stream), mtek' 
eye (a picturesque word for the hone-chest- 
nnt); bat how many can we be said to 
have fairly brought into the hmgnage, as 
Alexander Gill, who first mentions Ameri- 
canisms, meant it when he said, ** Sedet ab 
AmericaHis nonnuUa mutttamur nt maiz 
et CANOA '* ? Very few, I suspect, and 
those mostly by borrowing from the 
French, German, Spanish, or Indian. 
"The Dipper" for the "Great Bear" 
strikes me as having a native air. Bogus, 
in the sense of tporthless, is undoubtedly 
ours, but is, I more than suspect, a corrup- 
tion of the French bagasse (irom low Latm 
bagasea), which travelled up the Missis- 
sippi from New Orleans, where it was used 
for the refuAe of the sugar-cane. It is true, 
we have modified the meaning of some 
words. We vum freshet in the sense of 
/iMd, for which I have not chanced upon 
any antiiority. Our New England cross 
between Ancient Pistol and Dugald Dal- 
getty, Captain Uuderhill, uses the word 
(1638 ) to mean a eurrentf and I do not 
recollect it elsewhere in that sense. I 
therefore leave it with a f for fnture ex- 

Slorers. Crick for creek I find in Captain 
ohn Smith and in the dedication of Ful- 
ler's " Holy Warre," and run, nie&ning a 
small stream, in Waymouth's " Voyage " 
(1605). Humans for men, which Mr. Bart- 
lett includes in his " Dictionary of Ameri- 
canisms," is Chapman's habitual phrase in 
his translation of Homer. I find it also 
in the old play of "The Hog hath lost his 
PearL" Dogs for andirons Is still current 
in New England, and in Walter de Bibles- 
worth I find ehiens glossed in the margin 
by andirons. Gunning for shooting is in 
Drayton. We once got credit for the po- 



etical word/a/2 for autumn, but Mr. Bart- 
lett and the last edition of Webster's Dic- 
tionary refer us to Dryden. It is even 
older, for I find it in Drayton, and Bishop 
Hall has autumn fall. Middleton plays 
upon the word : " May'st thou have a rea- 
sonable good spring, for thou art like to 
have many dangerous foul falls.** Daniel 
does the same, and Coleridge uses it as we 
do. Gray uses the archaism picked for 
waked, and the word smudge (as our 
oackwoodsmen do) for a smothered fire. 
Lord Herbert of Cherbury (more prop- 
erly perhaps than even Sidney, the last 
foreux chevalier ) has "the Emperor's folks " 

Inst as a Yankee would say it. Loan for 
end. with which we have hitherto been 
blackened, I must retort upon the mother 
island, for it appears so long ago as in 
" Albion's England. " Fleshy, in the sense 
of stout, may claim Ben Jonson's warrant. 
Chore is also Jonson's word, and I am 
hiclined to prefer it to chare and char, be- 
cause I think that I see a more natural 
origin for it in the French Jour — whence 
it might come to mean a day's work, and 
thence a job — than anywhere else. At 
onst for at once I thought a cormption of 
our own, till I fonna it in the Chester 
Plays. 1 am now inclined to suspect it 
no cormption at all, but only an erratic 
and obsolete superlative at onest. To 
progrest^ was llung in our teeth till 
Mr. Pickering retorted with Shakespeare's 
"doth pro'gress down thy cheeks." I 
confess that I was never satisfied with 
this answer, because the accent was differ- 
ent, and because the word might here be 
recKoned a substantive quite as well as 
a verb. Mr. Bartlett (in his dictionary 
above cited) adds a surrebutter in a verse 
from Ford's "Broken Heart" Here the 
word is dearly a verb, but with the accent 
unhappily still on the first syllable. Mr. 
Bartlett says that he "cannot say whether 
the word was used in Bacon's time or 
not." It certainly was, and with the ac- 
cent we give to it. Ben Jonson, in the 
" Alchemist," has this verse. 



i« 



Progress' so from extreme unto extreme," 



and Sir Philip Sidney, 

"Progressing then ftom fkir Turios' golden 
place. •'^ 

Surely we may now sleep in peace, and 
our English cousins will forgive us, since 
we have cleared ourselves from any suspi- 
cion of originality in the matter! Poor 
for lean, thirds for dovjer, and dry for 
thirsty I find in Middleton's plays. Dry 
is also in Skelton and in the " World ^* 



220 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



S754). In a note on Middleton, Mr. 
yet) thinks it needful to explain the 
phrase 1 can't tell (universal in America) 
by the gloss / could not aay. Middleton 
also uses anecked^ which 1 had believed an 
Americanism till I saw it there. It is, of 
course, onl v another form of sntUch, analo- 
geous to tjuek and thatch (cf. the proper 
names Dekker and Thacher), brtak (brack) 
and breach, make (still common with us) 
and match, 'Long on for occasioned by 
(" who is this 'long on ?") occurs likewise 
in Middleton. *Cauae why is in (Saucer. 
Raising (an English version of the French 
leaven) for yecut is employed by Oayton 
in his "Festivous Notes on Don Quixote.*' 
I have never seen an instance of our New 
England word emptins in the same sense, 
nor can I divine its original. Oayton has 
limekiU ; also shtUs for shutters, and the 
latter is used by Mrs. Hutchinson in her 
'*Life of Colonel Hutchinson." Bishop 
Hall, and Purchas in his " Pilgrims/' have 
chist for chest, and it is certainlv nearer 
cista, as well as to its form in the Teu- 
tonic languages, whence probably we got 
it. We retain the old sound in cist, but 
chest is as old as CSiaucer. Lovelace says 
wropt for wrapt. '' Musidauer " 1 had al- 
ways associated with the militia-musters 
of my boyhood, and too hastily concluded 
it an abomination of our own, but Mr. 
Wright calls it a Norfolk word, and I find 
it to be as old as 1642 by an extract in 
Collier. "Not worth the time of day" 
had passed with me for native till I saw 
it in Shakespeara's " Pericles." For slick 
(which is only a shorter sound of deek, 
like crick and the now universal britches 
for breeches) I will only call Chapman 
and Jonson. ** That 's a sure card ! and 
"That's a stinger!" both soimd like 
modem slang, but yon will find the one 
in the old interiude of " Thersytes" (1537), 
and the other in Bfiddleton. "Right 
here" a favorite phrase with our orators 
and with a certain class of our editors, 
turns up passim in the Chester and Cov- 
entry plays. Mr. Dickens found some- 
thing very ludicrous in what he considered 
our neologism right a\oay. But I find a 
phrase very like it, and which I would 
gladly suspect to be a misprint for it, in 
" Oammer Qurton " : — 

" Lyght It and bring it tUs away. " 

After all, what is it bnt another form 
of straightway t Cussedness, meaning 
wickedness, malignity, and chm, a snesk- 
ins. ill-natured fellow, in such phrases as 
"He done it out o' pure cussedness," and 
" He is a nateral cuss," have been oom- 



roonly thought Yankeeisms. To vent cer- 
tain contemptuously indignant moods they 
are admiraole in their rough-and-ready 
way. But neither is our own. Cursyd' 
nesse, in the same sense of malignant 
wickedness, occurs in the Coventry Plays, 
and cuss may perhaps claim to have oome 
in with the Conqueror. At least the term 
is also French. Saint Simon uses it and 
confesses its usefulness. Speaking of the 
Abb4 Dubois, he says, "(^ui etoit en 
plein oe qu'un mauvais fran^ois appelle xm 
sacre, mais qui ne se pent guere exprimer 
autrement." " Not worth a cuss," though 
supported by " not worth a damn,** may 
be a mere oormption, since " not worth a 
cress** is in "Piers Ploughman." "I 
don*t see it" was the popular slang a 
year or two ago, and seemed to spring 
from the soil; bnt no, it is in Gib- 
ber's " (3areless Husband." Green saues 
for vegetables I meet in Beaumont and 
Fletcher, Gkyton, and elsewhere. Onr 
rustic pronunciation sahee (for either the 
diphthong au was ancientlv pronounced oA, 
or else we have followed abundant analogy 
in changing it to the latter sound, as we 
have in chanee, dance, and so many more) 
may be the older one, and at least civea 
some hint at its ancestor salsa, Wam^ 
in the sense of notify, is, I believe, now 
peculiar to us, bnt Pecock so employs it. 
To cotton to is, I rather think, an Ameri- 
canism. The nearest approach to it I have 
found Is cotton together^ in Cougreve's 
" Love for Love." To cotUm or cotibut, in 
another sense. Is old and common. Our 
word means to ding, and its or^;in, pos- 
sibly, is to be sought in another direction, 
perhaps in A. S. cvead, which means mud, 
clay (both proverbially clinging), or better 
yet. in the Icelandic qvoda (otherwise 
k6a). meaning resin and glue, which are 
Mr' /f»x^ stidcy snbstanoes. To spit cot- 
ton is, I think, American, and also, per- 
haps, to jUa for to beaJL To the A^unest 
still survives amons us, though apparently 
obsolete in England. It means either to 
let or to hire a piece of land, receiving half 
the profit in money or in kind (paribus 
locare). I mention it because in a note 
by some English editor, to which I have 
lost my reference, I have seen it wrongly 
explained. The editors of Nares cite Bur- 
ton. To put, in the sense of to po, as Put / 
for Begone/ would seem our own, and yet 
it is strictly analosons to the French se 
m>ettre d la voie, and the Italian mettersi in 
via. Indeed, Dante has a verse, 

' ' lo sani [tor mi sarti] ffid ms$so per to mntkro," 

which, but for the indignity, might be 
tnuBBlatedy 



222 



THE BIGLOW PAPEBS. 



of approving or praising : " The said king, 
nmch allowing this declaration, saiil? 
Ducange quotes Bracton suh voce adlo- 
CARB for the meaning ''to admit as 
proved/' and the transition from this to 
** atfimi " is by no means violent. At the 
same time, when we consider some of the 
meanings of allow in old Engllshi and of 
allouer in old French, and also remember 
that the verbs prize and praise are from 
one root, I think we must adroit alUm- 
dare to a share in the pateniity of aUow. 
The sentence from Hakluyt would read 
equally well, " contemning our strengthe, 
.... and praising (or valuing) their great 
eating of ^esh as tne cause of their increase 
in strength." After all, if we coniine our- 
selves to cdlocare, it may turn out that 
the word was somewhere and somewhen 
used for to bet, analogously to put up, put 
down, post (ci. Spanish apostar), and the 
like. 1 hear boys in the street continually 
i*AyuiS> "I ^^ that's a good hone," or 
what not, meaning by no means to risk 
anything beyond their opinion in the 
matter. 

The word improve^ in the sense of " to 
occupy, make use of, employ," as Dr. 
Pickering defines it, he long ago proved 
to be no neologism; He would nave done 
better, I tliink, had he substitaited pr<i^ 
by for emphty. He cites Dr. Frankuu as 
saying that the word had never, so far as 
he knew, been used in New England 
before he left it in 1723. except in 
Dr. Mather's '* Remarkable Providences," 
which he oddly calls a ''very old book." 
Franklin, as Dr. Pickering goes on to 
show, was mistaken. Mr. Bartlett in his 
" Dictionary " merely abridges' Pickering. 
Both of them should liave confineii the 
application of the word to material thin^, 
its extension to which is all that is peculiar 
in the supposed American use of it For 
surely '^Complete Letter- Writers " have 
been '* improving this opportunity " time 
out of mind. I will illustrate the word a 
little further, because Pickering cites no 
English authorities. Skelton has a pas- 
sage in his "Phyllyp Sparowe," which I 
(inote the rather as it contains also the 
wonl aUowedf and as it distinguishes itf^ 
prove from employ : — 

'* His [Chaucer's] Englysh well slowed, 
Bo as It is enprotcertj 
For as it Is en ploy d, 
There is no Englisli voyd." 

Here the meaning is to profit by. In 
Fuller's "Holy Warre" (1647), we have 
"The Egyptians standing on the firm 
ground, were tliereby enabled to improve 
and enforce their darts to the utmost." 



Here the word might certainly mean to 
make use of. Mrs. Hutchinson (Life <^ 
Oolonel H.) uses the won! m the same 
way : " And therefore did not emproove his 
interest to enga^ the country in the 
quarrell." Swift m one of his letten says : 
" Tliere is not an acre of land in Ireland 
turned to half its advantage; yet it is 
better m/mM«£f than the people. I find 
it also in, "Strength ont of Weakness" 
(1652), and Plutarch's "Morals" (1714), 
but I know of only one example of its 
use in the purely American sense, and that 
is, "a very good improvemenl for a miU " 
in the "State Trials" (Speech of the 
Attorney-General in the Lady Ivy's case, 
1684). In the sense of empioy^ I couhl 
cite a dozen bid English anthoriUes. 

In running over the fly-leaves of those 
delightful folios for this reference, I find 
a note which reminds me of another woni, 
for our abuse of which we have been ile- 
servedly ridiculed. I mean lady. It is 
true I might cite the example of the Italian 
donna * {donUna), which nas been tresated 
in the same way by a whole nation, and 
not, as Uxdy among us, by the uncnltivated 
only. It perhaps grew into use in the 
half-democratic republics of Italy in the 
same way and for the same reasons as with 
us. But I admit that our abuse of the 
word is villanous. I know of an orator who 
once said in a public meeting where bon- 
nets preponderated, that " the ladies were 
last at the cross and first at the tomb '* ! 
But similar sins were committed before onr 
day and in the mother country. In the 
" SUte Trials " I learn of " a gmOewoman 
that lives cook with " such a one, and I 
hear the Lord High Steward speaking of 
the wife of a waiter at a bagnio as a gentle^ 
woman/ From the same authority, by 
the way, I can state that our vile habit ^k 
chewing tobacco had the somewhat un- 
savory example of Titus Oates, and I 
know by tradition froni an eyewitne^ 
that the elegant Gfeneral Bni^oyn'e partook 
of the same vice. Howell, in one of his 
letters (dated 26 August, 162S,) speaks 
thus of another " institution " which many 
have thought American : " They speak 
much of that boisterous Bishop of'Halrer^ 
stadt (for so they term him here), that, 
liaving taken a place wher ther were tis'o 
Monasteries of Nuns and Friers, he caus'd 
divers feather-beds to be rip'd, and all the 
feathers to be thrown in a great Hall, 
whither the Xuns and Friers were thmst 
naked with their bodies oiVd and pitch*d, 
and to tumble among the feathers. " Ho w- 



* Dame, in English, is 
woman of the s&me (kmlly. 



a decayed gentle- 



J 



nmtODucnoN. 



223 



eH speaks as if the thing were new to him, 
and I know not if the " boisterous " Bishop 
was the inventor of it, but I find it prac- 
tised in England before onr Revolution. 

Before leaving the subject, I will add a 
few comments made from tirae to time 
on the margin of Mr. Bartlett's excellent 
"Dictionary," to which I am glad thus 
irablicly to acknowledge my many obliga- 
tions. " Avails *'*i8 good old English, and 
the wtil^ of Sir Joshua Reynohls's porter 
are famous. Averse from, averse to, and 
in connection with them the English vul- 
garism " different to" The corrupt use 
of to in these cases, as well as in tlie Yan- 
kee " he lives to Salem," "to home^" and 
others, must be a very old one, for m the 
one case it plainly arose from confounding 
the two French prepositions d (from Latin 
ad and ab), and in the other from trans- 
lating the first of them. I once thought 
"dinerent to" a modem vulgarism, and 
Mr. Thackeray, on my pointing it out to 
him in " Henry Esmond," confessed it to 
be an anachronism. Mr. Bartlett refers 
to " the old writers quoted in Richardson's 
Dictionary" for "differant to," though in 
my edition of that work all the examples 
are with from. But I find to used invaria- 
bly by Sir R. Hawkins hi Hakluyt Bat^'o 
is a negro corruption of O. £• bandore, 
Bind-vxed can nardly be modern^ for 
wood-bind is old and radically right, mter- 
twining itself through bindan aira windan 
with classic stems. Bobolink: is this a 
contraction for Bob o* Lincoln? I find 
bobolynetj in one of the poems attributed 
to Skelton, where it may be rendered 
oiddy-paUf a term very fit for the bird in 
his ecstasies. Crud for ffreat is in Hak- 
luyt Bowiing-dUey is in Nash's *' Pierce 
Penmlesse." Vwunis, meaning nice, oc- 
curs continually in old writers, and is as 
old as Pecock's "Repressor.^' Droger 
is O. E. drugger. educational is in 
Burke. Feeze ib only & f orm of Jbez. To 
Jtc, in the American sense, I find used by 
the Commissioners of the United Colonies 
00 early as 1675, " their arms well ^xed 
and fit for service." To take the foot in 
the hand is Gennan ; so is to go under. 
Gundaiow is old : I find aundelo in Hak- 
Inrt, and gundello in Bootn's reprint of the 
folio Shakespeare of 1628. Oonof^ 0. E. 
gnoje. Heap is in "Piers Ploughman" 
( " and other names an keep "), and in Hak- 
luyt ( " seeing such a heap of their enemies 
rady to devour them'). To liquor is 
in the " Puritan " (" call 'em in, and liciuor 
•era a little "). To loaf: this, I think, is 
unquestionably Gennan. Laufen is pro- 
nounced lo/en'm some parts of Germany, 
and I once heard one German student say 



to another, leh hmf (lofe) hier bis du 
udederkehrest, and he began accordingly 
to saunter up and down, in short, to l<^f. 
To muU, Air. Bartlett says, means "to 
soften, to dispirit," and quotes from " Mar- 
garet, — "There has be«n a pretty consid- 
erable mMlltn ^oing on among the doc- 
tors," — where it surely cannot mean what 
he says it does. We nave always heard 
mulling used for tHrringj bustling, some- 
times in an underhand way. It is a meta- 
phor derived probably from mulling wine, 
and the word itself must be a corruption 
of mell, from 0. F. meder. Pair of stairs 
is in Hakluyt. To pull vp stakes is in 
Curwen's Journal, and therefore pre-Rev- 
olutionary. I think I have met with it 
earlier. Boise: under this word Mr. 
Bartlett omits " to raise a house/' that is, 
the frame of a wooden one, and also the 
substantive formed from it, sl raisin*. Re- 
tire for go to bed IB in Fielding's" Amelia." 
Setting-poles cannot be new, for I find 
"some set [the boats] with long poles** 
in Hakluyt Shoyider-kitters : I find that 
shoulder-striker is old, though I have lost 
the reference to my authority. Snag is 
no new word, thoush perhaps the Western 
application of it u so ; but I find in 
Cfill the proverb, " A bird in the bag is 
worth two on the snag." Dryden has 
svfop and to rights. Trail: Hakluyt 
has "many wayes traled by the wilde 
beastes." 

I subjoin a few phrases not in Mr. Bart- 
lett's book which I have heard. Bald- 
headed: " to go it bald-headed " ; in great 
haste, as where one rashes out without his 
hat Bogue : " I don't git much done 
'thout I bogue right in along 'th my men." 
Carry : a portage. Cat-fiap : a short doze. 
Cat-stick : a small stick. Choufder-fiead : 
a muddle-brain. Cling-john : a soft cake 
of rye. Cocoa-nut : the head. Coh^es' : 
applied to tiie people of certain settle- 
ments in Western Pennsylvania, from their 
use of the archaic form Quo* he. Dun^ 
nmo*z I know: the nearest your true 
Yankee ever comes to acknowleaging ite- 
rance. Bssence-pedler : a skunk. First- 
rate and a half. Fish-Jlakes, for drying 
fish : 0. K /Uck (cratis). Oander-party : 
a social gathering of men only. (Jawni' 
cus: B, dolt. Hawkin£s whetstone : rum ; 
in derision of one Hawkins, a well-known 
temperance-lecturer. Hyper : to bustle : 
" I mus* hyper about an' git tea. " KeeleT' 
tub: one m which dishes are washed. 
("And Greasy Joan doth keel the pot") 
Lap-tea : where the guests are too many to 
sit at table. Last of pea-time : to be hard* 
up. L6se-laid (loose-laid) : a weaver's 
term, and probably English ; weak-willed. 



224 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



Malahotck : to cut up hastily or awk- 
wardly. Moonglade: a beautiful word: 
for the track of moonlight on the water. 
Off-ox: an unmanageaole, cross-grained 
fellow. Old Driver, Old Spl^fool ; the 
Devil. Onhitch : to pull trigger (cf . Span- 
iBhdisparar). Popular : conoeiied. Rote: 
sound of surf before a storm. Roi-mU : 
cheap whiskey ; the word occurs in Uey- 
wood*8 " English Traveller " and Addison's 
** Drummer/* for a poor kind of drink. 
Seem: it is habitual with the New-Eng- 
lander to put this verb to strange uses, as, 
** I can't seem, to be suited," "I could n't 
seem to know him." SidehiU^ for kill- 
tide. StaU-Koute : this seems an Ameri- 
canism, whether invented or derived from 
the Dutch Stadhuys, I know not. Strike 
and string : trom the game of nineoins ; 
to make a strike is to knock down all the 
pins with one ball, hence it has come to 
mean fortunate, successful. Swampers: 
men who break out roads for lumberers. 
Tormented: euphemism for damnecL as, 
" not a tormented cent" Virginia fence, 
to make a : to walk like a drunken man. 

It is always worth whUe to note down 
the erratic words or phrases which one 
meets with in any dialect. They may 
throw light on the meaning of other words, 
on the relationship of languages, or even on 
history itself. In so composite a language 
as ours they often supply a different form 
to express a different shade of meaning, 
as in viol and fiddle, thrid and thread, 
smother and smoulder, where the I has crept 
in by a false analogy with would. We 
have ^ven back to England the excel- 
lent adjective lengthy, formed honestly like 
earthy, drouthy, and others, thus enabling 
their journalists to characterize our Presi- 
dent's messages by a word civilly compro- 
mising between long and tedious, so as not 
to endanger the peace of the two countries 
by wounding our national sensitiveness to 
British criticism. Let me give two curious 
examples of the antiseptic property of 
dialects at which I have already glanced. 
Dante has dimli as a childish or low word 
for danari (money), and in Shropshire 
small Roman coins are still dug up which 
the peasants call dinders. This can hard- 
ly be a chance coincidence, but seems 
rather to carry the word back to the 
Roman soldiery. So our farmers say 
chuk, ehuh, to their pigs, and dacco ia 
one of the Italian words for hog. When 
a countryman tells us that he *' fell all of 
a heap,'' I cannot help thinking that he 
unconsciously points to an amnity be- 
tween our word tumble, and the Latin 
tumvliis, that is older than most others. 
[ believe that words, or even the mere 



intonation of them, have an astonishiog 
vitality and power of propagation by the 
root, like the gardeners pest, quitch- 
grass,* while the application or combina- 
tion of them may be new. It is in these 
last that my countrymen seem to me full 
of humor, invention, quickness of wit, and 
that sense of subtle analogy which needs 
only refining to become fancy and imagi- 
nation. Prosaic as American life seems 
in many of its aspects to a European, bleak 
and bare as it is on the side of tradition, 
and utterly ori>haned of the solemn inspira- 
tion of antiquity, I cannot help thinKing 
that the ordinary talk of unlettered men 
among us is fuller of metaphor and of 
phrases that suggest lively images than 
that of any other people I have seen. 
Very manv such will be found in Mr. 
Bartlett's book, though his short list of 
proverbs at the end seem to me, with one 
or two exceptions, as un-American as pos- 
sible. Most of them have no character at 
all but coarseness, and are quite too long- 
skirted for working proverbs, in whidi 
language always " takes off its coat to it," 
as a Yankee would say. There are plenty 
that have a more native and pnckery 
flavor, seedlings from the old stock often, 
and yet new varieties. One hears suc^ 
not seldom among us Easterners, and the 
West would yield many more. ''Mean 
enoueh to steal acorns from a blind hog ** ; 
"Cold as the north side of a Jenooary 
gravestone by starlight" ; " Hungry as a 
graven image " ; " Fop'lar as a hen with 
one chicken ; "A hen s time ain't much" ; 
" Quicker 'n greased liffhtnin' " ; " Ther 's 
seen a thing ez bein' tu ' (our Yankee par- 
aphrase of fi^ »yoy) ; hence the phrase 
tooin^ round, meaning a superen^torr 
activity like that of flies ; " Stingy enougn 
to skim his milk at both eends" ; '*Hot as 
the Devil's kitchen " ; "Handy as a pocket 
in a shirt " ; " He 's a whole team and the 
dog under the wagon " ; " All deacons are 
good, but there's odds in deacons" (to dea- 
con berries is to put the largest atop) ; '* So 
thievish they hev to take in their stone 
walls nights " ; • may serve as specimens. 
"I take my tea barfoot," said a back- 
woodsman when asked if he would have 
cream and sugar. (I And barf out, by the 
way, in the Coventry Plays.) A man 
speaking to me once of a very rocky 
clearing said, "Stone 's got a pretty heavy 
mortgage on that land, and I overheard 

* Which, whether in that form, or under its 
aliases vifcA-^rass and oooclk-grass, points us 
hack to its onginal Sazoa qu-iat. 

t And, by the way, the Yankee never saja 
" o' nights," but uses the older odverbi&l form, 
analogous to the German aooiUt. 



r 



rvk- _ am- 



WTRODUCnON. 



225 



a guide in the vood^ Ray to his compan- 
ions who "Were UTging him to sing, •* Wal, 
I did sing once, but toons gut invented, an' 
thet spilt my trade." Whoever has driven 
over a stream by a bridge made of slabs 
will feel the picturesque force of the epi- 
thet staJb-bruiged applied to a fellow of 
shaky character. Almost every county 
has some good die-sinker in phrase, whose 
mintage passes into the cnrrencv of the 
whole neighborhood. Such a one described 
the county jail (the one stone building 
where all the dwellings are of wood) as 
" the house whose underoinnin' oome up 
to the eaves," and callecl hell ** the place 
where they didn't rake up their tires 
nights." I once asked a stage-driver if 
the other side of a hill were as steep as 
the one we were climbing : ** Steep ? cnain 
lightnin' could n' go down it 'thout pnttin' 
the shoe on ! " And this brings me hack 
to the exaggeration of which 1 spoke be* 
fore. To me there is something very tak- 
ing in the negro "so black that charcoal 
made a chalic-mark on him." and the 
wooden shingle "painted so like marble 
that it sank in water," as if its very con- 
scionsness or its vanity had been over- 

rirsnaded by the cunning of the painter. 
beard a roan, in order to give a notion 
of some very cold weather, say to another 
that a certain Joe, who nad been taking 
mercury, found a lump of quicksilver in 
each boot, when he went home to dinner. 
This power of rapidly dramatizing a dry 
fact into flesh and blood, and the vivid 
conception of Joe as a human thermom- 
eter, strike me as showing a poetic sense 
that may be refined into faculty. At 
any rate there is humor here, and not 
mere quickness of wit, — the deeper and 
not the shallower quality. The tendency 
of humor is always towards overplus of 
exf>ression, while the very essence of wit 
is its logical precision. Captain Basil 
Hall denied tnat our people had any 
humor, deceived, perhaps, by their gravity 
of manner. But this very seriousness is 
often the outward sign of that humorous 
quality of the mind which delights in 
finding an element of identity in things 
seemingly the most incongruous, and then 
again in forcing an incongruity upon things 
identical. Perhaps Captain Hall had no 
humor himself, and if so he would never 
find it. Did he always feel the point of 
what was said to himself? I doubt it, 
becau*4e I happen to know a chance he 
once had given nim in vain. The Captain 
was walking up and down the veranda of 
a country tavern in Massachusetts while 
tiie coach changed horses. A thunder- 
storm was going on, and, \vith that pleas- 

16 



ant European air of indirect self-compli- 
ment in condescending to be suq^rised by 
American merit, which we find so concili- 
ating, he said to a countryman lounging 
against the door, " Pretty hea\'y thunder 
you have here." The other, who had di- 
vined at a glance his feeling of generous 
concession to a new country, drawled 
gravely, "Waal, we rfu, considerin' the 
number of inhabitants." This, the more 
I analyze it, the more humorous does it 
seem. The same man was capable of wit 
also, when he would. He was a ca)>inet- 
maker, and was once employed to make 
some commandment-tables for the parish 
meeting-house. The parson, a very old 
man, annoyed him by looking into his 
workshop every morning, and cautioning 
him to be very sure to pick out " clear 
mahogany without any imots in it." At 
last, wearied out, he retorted one day : 
" Wal, Dr. B., I guess ef I was to leave 
the nots out o' some o' the c'man'ments, 
't 'ould soot you full ez wal ! " 

If I had taken the poins to write down 
the proverbial or pithy phrases I have 
heard, or if I had sooner thought of noting 
the Yankeeisms I met with in my reading, 
I might have been able to do more justice 
to my theme. But I have done all I 
wished in respect to pronunciation, if I 
have proved that where we are vulgar, we 
have the countenance of very good com- 
pany. For, as to the/itf et norvia loquen- 
dif I agree with Horace and those who 
have paraphrased or commented him, from 
Boileau to Gray. I think that a good rule 
for style is Galiani's definition of sublime 
oratory, — "I'art de tout dire sans etre 
mis ii'la Bastille dans un pays ou il est 
defendu de rien dire." I profess myself 
a fanatical purist, but with a heariy con- 
tempt for the speech -cjlders who aifect 
punsm without any tnorough, or even 
pedagogic, knowledge of the engendure, 
growth, and affinities of tlie noble lan- 
guage about whose misalliances they pro- 
fess (like Dean Alfonl) to be so solicitous. 
If ihey hod their way — ! " Doch es sey," 
savs Lessing, " doss jene gothische Hof- 
liclikeit eine nnentbeririiche Tugend des 
heutigen Umganges ist. Soil sie darum 
unsere Schriften eben so schaal und falsch 
machen als unsem Um^ang / " And Dray- 
ton was not far wrong m affirming that 

" T Is possible to climb, 
To kindle, or to nlake. 
Although iu Skelton's rhyme." 

Cumberland in his Memoirs t^lls us that 
when, in the midst of Admiral Rotlney's 
great sea-fight, Sir Charles Douglas said 




226 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



to him, " Behold, Sir Gemgt^ the Greeks 
and Trojans contending for the body of 
Patroclus ! " the Admiral answered, pee- 
vishly, ''Damn the Greeks and damn the 
Trojans ! I have other things to think of.*' 
After the battle was won, Rodney thus 
to Sir Charles, " Now, my dear fnend, I 
am at the service of your Greeks and 
Trojans, and the whole of Homer's Iliad, 
or as much of it as vou please I " I had 
sonte such feeling of the impertinence of 
our pseudo-classicalitv when I chose our 
homely dialect to work in. Should we be 
nothing, because somebody had contrived 
to be something (and that perliape in a 
provincial dialect) ages ago? and to be 
nothing by our very attempt to be that 
something, which they had already been, 
and which therefore nobody could be again 
without being a bore ? Is there no way 
left, then, I thought, of being natural, of 
being na\f, which means nothing more 
than native, of belonging to the age and 
country in which you are bom f The 
Yankee, at least, is a new phenomenon ; 
let us try to be tkciL It is perhaps a pis 
tUUr, but is not No Thoroughfare written 
up everywhere else? In the literary 
world, thin^ seemed to me very much as 
they were m the latter half of the last 
century. Pope, skimming the cream of 
good sense and expression wherever he 
could lind it, had made, not exactly 
poetry, but an hopest, salable butter of 
worldly wisdom which pleasantly lubri- 
cated some of the drier morsels of life's 
daily bread, and, seeing this, scores of 
harmlessly insane people went on for the 
next fifty years coaxing his buttermilk 
with the regular up and down of the pen- 
tameter chum. And in our day do we 
not scent everywhere, and even carry 
away in our clothes against our will, that 
faint perfume of musk which Mr. Tenny- 
son has left behind him, or worse, of 
Heine's pachouli t And might it not be 
possible to escape them by turning into 
one of our narrow New England lanes, 
shut in though it were by bleak stone- 
walls on either hand, and where no better 
flowers were to be gathered than golden- 
rod and hardback ? 

BeHide the advantage of getting out of 
the beaten track, our dialect offerra others 
hardly inferior. As I was about to make 
an endeavor to state them, I remembered 
something which the clear-sighted Goethe 
had said about Hel)ers AUeinannische 
Oedichtfy which, making proper deduction 
for special reference to the book under 
review, expresses what I would have said 
far better than I could hope to do : ** Allen 
diesen innem guten Eigenschaften kommt 



die behagliche naive Spnche sebr zn stst- 
ten. Man findet mehrere sinnlich bedeu- 
tende und wohlklingende Worte .... von 
einem, zwei Buchstaben, Abbreviationen, 
Contractionen, viele kurze, leichte Sylben, 
neue Reime, welches, mehr als man glanbt, 
ein Vortheil filr den Dichter ist. Di^e 
Elemente werden durch gluckliche Coo- 
structionen und lebhafte F^rmeu zu eioem 
Styl zusammengedrangt der zu dic^m 
Zwecke vor unserer Biichersprache grosse 
VorzUge hat." Of course I do not mean 
to imply that / have come near ochieviug 
any such success as the great critic here in- 
dicates, but I think the success is there^ a»l 
to lie plucked by some more fortunate hand. 
Nevertheless, I was encouraged by the 
approval of many whose opinions I valuei 
With a feeling too tender and grateful to 
be mixed, witn any vanity, I mention as 
one of these the late A. H. Clough, wLo 
more than any one of those I have knova 
(no longer living), except Hawthorne, im- 
pressed me with the constant presence 
of that indefinable thing we call genins. 
He often suggested that I should try my 
hand at some Yankee Pastorals, which 
would admit of more sentiment and a 
higher tone without foregoing the advan- 
tage offered by the dialect. I have never 
completed anything of the kind, but, in 
this Second Series, both my remembrance 
of his counsel and the deeper feeling 
called up by the great interests at stake, 
led me to venture some passages nearer 
to what is called i)oetical tnan could have 
been admitted without incongraity into 
the former series. The time seemed call- 
ing to me, with the old poet, — 



If 






Leave, then, your wonted prattle 
The oaten reed forhear : 

For I hear a sound of battle. 
And trumpets rend the air ! " 



The only attempt I had ever made at i 
anything like a pastoral (if that maybe 
called an attempt which was the result 
almost of pure accident) was in "The 
Courtin'." While the introfiuctiou to the 
First Series was going through the press, 
I received word from the printer that 
there was a blank page left wliich must lie 
filled. I sat down at once and improvised 
another fictitious "notice of the press,** 
in which, because verse would fill up 
space more cheaply than proi^e, I inserted 
an extract fh>m a supposed ballad of Mr. 
Billow. I kept no copy of it, and the 
printer, as directed, cut it off when the 
gap was filled. Presently I began to re- 
ceive letters asking for the rest of it. 
sometimes for the baUmce of it. I had 



INTRODUCTION. 



227 



none, bnt to answer Bnch denumda, I 
patched a conclusion npon it in a later 
edition. Those who had only the first 
contmned to importune me. Afterward, 
being asked to write it out as an auto- 
graph for the Baltimore Sanitary Commis- 
sion Fair, I added other verses, into some 
of which I infused a little more sentiment 
in a homely way, and after a fashion com- 
pleted it by sketching in the characters 
and making a connected story. Most 
likely I have spoiled it, but I shall put it 
at the end of this Introduction, to answer 
once for all those kindly importunings. 

As I have seen extracts from what pur- 
ported to be writings of Mr. Bigiow, 
which were not genuine, I may properly 
take this opportunity to say, that the two 
Yolnmes now published contain every line 
I ever printed under that pseudonyme, 
and that I have never, so far as I can re- 
member, written an anonymous article 
(elsewhere than in the North Atneriean 
Review and the AUatUie Monthly y during 
my editorship of it) except a review of 
Mrs. Stowe's "Minister's Wooing," and, 
some twenty years ago, a sketch of the 
antislavery movement in America for an 
English joumaL 

A wora more on pronunciation. I have 
endeavored to express this so far as I 
conld by the types, taking such pains as, 
1 fear, may sometimes make the reading 
harder than need be. At the same time, 
by studying uniformity I have sometimes 
been obliged to sacrifice minute exact- 
ness. The emphasis often modifies the 
habitnal sound. For example, for is com- 
monly far (a shorter sound than fur for 
/ar\ but when emphatic it fUways be- 
comes/or, as "wut /or/" So too is pro- 
nounced like to (as it was anciently spelt), 
and to like ta (the sound as in the tou of 
touch), but too, when emphatic, chaufes 
into ^116, and to, sometimes, in similar 
cases, into toe. as, " I did n* nardly know 
wut toe du ! where vowels come to- 
gether, or one precedes another following 
an aspirate, the two melt together, as was 
common with the older poets who formed 
their versification on French or Italian 
models. Drayton is thoroughly Yankee 
when he says " I 'xpedL*' and Pope when 
j he says " t* inspire." With becomes some- 
! times Hth. *iUhf or *ih, or even disappears 
I wholly where it comes before the, as, "I 
' went along th* Square'* (along with the 
^luire), the are sound being an archaism 
wmch I have noticed also in choir, like 
the old Scottish quhair, (Herrick has, 
"Of flowers ne'er sucked by th' theeving 
bee.") Without becomes athmU and 'thout. 
Afterwards always retains its locative s, 



and is pronounced always ahterum/rdif, 
with a strong accent on the last syllable. 
This oddity has some support in the 
erratic towards instead of to'toarcts, which 
we find in the poets and sometimes hear. 
The sound given to the first syllable of 
to'ip&rds, I may remark, sustains the Yan- 
kee lengthening of the o in to. At the 
beginning of a sentence, ahtertourds has 
the accent on the first syllable ; at the 
end of one, on the last ; as, " ah'Urwurda* 
he tor me," "he tol' me ahterwurda',^ 
The Yankee never makes a mistake in 
his aspirates. U changes in many words 
to e, alwavs in sttch^ orush, tush^ hxish, 
ruth, blusk, seldom m much, oftener in 
trust and crast, never in mush, gust, bust, 
tumUe, or (?) flush, in the latter case 
probably to avoid confusion with fttsk. I 
nave heard jiuah with the I sound, how- 
ever. For the same reason, I suspect, 
never in gush (at least, I never heard it), 
because we have already one ge^ for gash, 
A and t short frequently become e snort. 
U always becomes o in the prefix un (ex- 
cept unto), and o in return changes to u 
short in uv for of, and in some woixls be- 
ginning with om. T and d, b and p, v and 
w, remain intact. So much occurs to me 
in addition to what I said on this head in 
the preface to the former volume. 

Or course in what I have said I wish to 
be understood as keeping in mind the dif- 
ference between provincialisms properly 
so called and slaiig. Slang is always vul- 
gar, because it is not a natural out an 
affected way of talking, and all mere 
tricks of speech or writing are offensive. 
I do not tnlnk that Mr. Biglow con be 
fairly charged with irulgarity, and I should 
have entirely failed in my design, if I had 
not made it appear that hi^^li and even 
refined sentiment may coexist with the 
shrewder and more oomic elements of the 
Yankee character. I believe that what is 
essentially vulgar and mean-spirited in 
politics seldom nas its source in the body 
of the people, but much rather among 
those who are made timid by their wealth 
or selfish by their love of power. A 
democracy can afford much better than 
an aristocracy to follow out its convic- 
tions, and is perhaps better qualified to 
build those convictions on plain princi- 
ples of right and wrong, rather than on 
the shifting sands of expediency. I had 
alwavs thought "Sam Slick" a libel on 
the Yankee character, and a complete 
falsification of Yankee modes of speech, 
though, for aught I know, it may be true 
in both respects so far as the British prov- 
inces are concerned. To me the dialect 
was native, was spoken all about me when 



228 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



a hoy, at a time "when an Irish day-lahorer 
was a8 rare as an American one now. 
Since then I have made a study of it so 
far as opport;unity allowed. But when I 
write in it, it is as in a mother tongue, 
and I am carried back far Ueyoud any 
studies of it to long-ago noonings in my 
father's hay-fields, and to the talk of Sam 
and Job over their jug of blacJtstrap under 
the shadow of the ash-tree which still 
dapples the grass whence they have been 
gone so long. 

But life is short, and prefaces should be. 
And so, my good friends, to whom this 
introductory epistle is atldressed, farewell. 
Though some of you have remonstrated 
with me, I shall never write any more 
**Biglow Papers," however great the 
temptation, —great especially at the pres- 
ent time, — umess it oe to complete. the 
original plan of this Series by bringing out 
Mr. Sawin as an "original Union man." 
The very favor with which they have been 
receivetl is a hindrance to me, by forcing 
on me a self-consciousness from which I 
was entirely free when I wrote the First 
Series. Moreover, I am no longer the 
same careless youth, with nothing- to do 
but live to myself, my books, and my 
friends, that I was then. I alwa\'s hated 
jHjlitics, in the onlinary sense of tne word, 
and I am not likely to grow fonder of 
them, now that I have learned how rare it 
is to find a man who can keep principle 
clear from party and personal prejudice, 
or can conceive the possibility of another's 
doing so. I feel as if I couUf in some sort 
claim to be an emeritus^ and I am sure 
that political satire will have full justice 
done it by that genuine and delightful 
humorist, the Rev. Petroleum V. Nasby. 
I regret that I killed off Mr. Wilbur so 
soon, for he would have enabled me to 
bring into this preface a numlier of learned 
quotations, which must now go a-begging, 
and also enabled me to dis]>ei'sonalize my- 
self into a vicarious egotism. He would 
hive helpe<l me also in clearing myself 
from a charge which I shall bneHy touch 
on, because my friend Mr. Hugnes has 
found it needful to defend me in his pref- 
ace to one of the English editions of the 
" Bi^'low Papers." I thank Mr. Hughes 
heartily for his friendly care of my gootl 
name, and were his Preface accessible to 
my readers here (as I am glatl it is not, 
for its partiality makes me blush), I 
should leave the matter where he left it. 
The charge is of profanity, brought in by 
persons who proclaimed African slavery 
of Divine institution, and is basetl (so far 
a.H I have heard) on two passages in the 
First Series — 



and, 



" An* you *ve gut to git up airty, 
£f you want to take in God," 

" God 11 send the biU to you." 



and on some Scriptural illustrations by 
Mr. Sawin. 

Now, in the first place, I was writing 
under an assumed character, and must talk 
as the person would whose mouthpiece I 
made myself. Will any one familiar with 
the New England countr>*raan venture to 
tell me that he does twt speak of 8arre«l 
things familiarly ? that Biblical allusioni 
(allusions, that is, to the single book with 
whose language, from his church-going 
habits, he is intimate) are not frequent on 
his lips? If 80, he cannot have pursueil 
his studies of the character on so many 
long-ago muster-fields and at so many cat- 
tle-shows as I. But I scorn any such Mw 
of defence, and will confess at once that 
one of the things I am proud of in my 
countrymen is (1 am not speaking now of 
such persons as I have assumed Mr. Sawin 
to be) that they do not put their Maker 
away far from them, or interpret the fear oC 
God into being afraid of Him. The Tal- 
mudista had conceived a deep truth when 
they said, that "all things were in the 
power of God, save the fear of God " ; and 
when people stand in great dread of an 
invisible power, I suspect thev mistake 

?uite another personage for the Deity, 
might justify myself for the passages 
criticised by many parallel ones from 
Scripture, but I need not The Reverend 
Homer Wilbur's note-books s^PPiy ^^ 
with three apposite quotations. Tne first 
is from a Father of the Roman Church, 
the second from a Father of the Anglican, 
and the third from a Father of Modem 
English poetry. The Puritan divines 
would funiish me with many more such. 
St. Bernard says. Sapiens nummuiariuseM 
Deus : nummum fictum nrm recipiet ; ** A 
cunning money -chanjjer is God : he will 
take in no base com." Latimer savs, 
"You shall perceive that Got!, by this 
example, shaiceth us by the noses and 
taketn us by the ears." Familiar enough, 
l)oth of them, one would say ! But I 
.should think Mr. Biglow had verily stolen 
the last of the two maligned passages from 
Dryden's " Don Sebastian," where I find 

"And beg of Heaven to charge the bill oo 
me!" 

And there I leave the matter, being bill- 
ing to believe that the Saint, the Mart>T, 
and even the Poet, were as careful of 
God's honor as my critics are ever likely 
to be. 

J. R. L 



INTKODUCTION. 



229 



THB cottbhk*. 



God makes aech nights* all white an* 
stiU 

Fur *z yon can look or listen, 
Moonshine an' snow on field an' hill. 

All fldlence an' all glisten. 

Zekle crcp* np quite nnbcknown 
An* peeked in thru' the winder, 

An' there sot Huldy all alone, 
'ith no one nigh to hender. 



I A fireplace filled the room's one side 
With half a cord o' wood in — 
There warn't no stoves (tell comfort 
died) 
To bake ye to a pnddin*. 

Ihe wa'nut logs shot sparkles out 
I Towards the pootiest, bless her, 
An' leetle flames danced all about 
The chiny on the dresser. 

Agin the chimbley crook-necks hnng^ 
I An* in amongst *em rusted 
I The ole queen's-arm thet gran*ther 
j Young 

j Fetched back from Concord busted. 

The very room, coz she was in. 
Seemed warm from floor to ceilin*, 

An* she looked full ez rosy a^n 
£z the apples she was peelm*. 

'T was kin' o* kingdom-come to look 

On sech a blessm cretur, 
A dogrose blushin' to a brook 

Ain't modester nor sweeter. 

He was six foot o' man, A i. 
Clear grit an' human natur'; 

None could n't quicker pitch a ton 
Nor dror a furrer stiiughter. 

He 'd sparked it with full twenty gals, 
Hed squired 'em, danced 'em, druv 
'em. 

Fust this one, an' then thet, by spells— 
All is, he could n't love 'em. 

But long o' her his veins 'ould run 
All crinkly like curled maple, 



The side she breshed felt full o* sun 
£z a south slope in Ap'il. 

She thought no ^ice hed sech a swing 

£z hisn in the choir ; 
My ! when he made Ole Hunderd ring, 

She knowed the Lord was nigher. 

An' she 'd blush scarlit, right in prayer, 
When her new meetin'-bunnet 

Felt somehow thru' its crown a pair 
0' blue eyes sot upon it. 

Thet night, I tell ye, she looked sorru! 

She seemed to 've gut a new soul. 
For she felt sartin-sure he *d come, 

Down to her very shoe-sole. 

She heered a foot, an' knowed it tu, 

A-raspin' on the scraper, — 
All ways to once her feelins flew 

like sparks in bumt-up paper. 

He kin' o' I'itered on the mat. 

Some doubtfle o' the sekle. 
His heart kep' goin' pitv-pat. 

But hem went pity iosle. 

An' yit she gin her cheer a jerk 
Ez though she wished him furder. 

An' on her apples kep' to work, 
Parin' away like murder. 

** You want to see my Pa, I s'pose ?" 

"Wal .... no .... I come da- 

• ^ • ( tf 

signin — 

"To see my Maf She 's sprinklin' 

clo'es 

Agin to-raorrer's i'nin*." 

To say why gals acts so or so, 
Or don't, 'ould be presumin' ; 

Mebby to mean yc8 an' say no 
Comes nateral to women. 

He stood a spell on one foot fust. 
Then stooa a spell on t' other, 

An' on which one he felt the wust 
He could n't ha' told ye nuther. 

Savs he, "I 'd better call agin " ; 

Says she, " Think likely, Mister '| : 
Thet last word pricked him like a pin, 

An' .... Wal, he up an' kist ner. 



230 



THE BIGLOW PAFEBS. 



When Ma bimeby upon 'em slips, 

Huldy sot pale ez asbes, 
All kin' o' smily rouu' the lips 

An' teary roiin' the lashes. 

For she was jes' the quiet kind 

Whose nature never vary, 
Like streams that keep a sunmier mind 

Snowhid in Jenooary. 



The blood dost roun' her heart felt glaeil 
Too tiffht for all ezpressin', 

Tell mother see how metters stood, 
An' gin 'em both her blessin'. 

Then her red come back like the tide 
Down to the Bay o' Fundy, 

An' all I know is they was cried 
In meetin' come nez' Sunday. 



I 



i'\: • 



I r. 



'. V ' ':i'i 



I' 
I 

' 1 :Ti**« 



I 



^ 



f 



T'-rr rcw 'i'ORK 
' -J 2 ^TC LIBRARY 



A^TCR. LENOX 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



I 



No. L 

BIRDOFREDUM SAWIN, ESQ., TO 
MR. HOSEA BIGLOW. 

LE1TBB FROM TH8 REVEREND HOMER WIL- 
BUR, M. A., BNCLOSnfO THE EPIBTLfi 



▲FORESAID. 



Jaalam. 15th Nov., 1861. 



It 13 not from any idle wish to obtinde 
my humble person with undue prominence 
upon the publick view that I resume my 
pen upon the present occasion. Juniorea 
Oil lahores. But having been a main in- 
atrament in rescuing the talent of my young 
parishioner from being buried in the ground, 
oy giving it such warrant with the world 
as could be derived from a name already 
widely known by several printed discourses 
(all of which I may be permitted without 
immodestv to state have been deemed 
worthy of preservation in the Librarv of 
Harvard College by my esteemed friend 
Mr. Sibley), it seemed becoming that I 
should not only testify to the genuineness 
of the following production, but call atten- 
tion to it, the more as Mr. Biglow had so 
long been silent as to be in dancer of abso- 
lute oblivion. I insinuate no claim to any 
share in the authorship {vixea nostra voco) 
of the works already published by Mr. 
Biglow, but merely take to myself the 
crrait of having fulfilled toward them the 
office of taster (experto crede), who, having 
first tried, could afterward bear witness 
icredenten it was aptly named by the Ger- 
mans), an office always arduous, and some- 
times even dangerous, as in the case of those 
devoted persons who venture their lives in 
tlie deglutition of patent medicines {dolus 
laUl in ffenereUibus, there is deceit in the 
most of them) and thereafter are wonder- 
fully preserved long enough to append their 
signatures to testimoniius in the diurnal 
and hebdomadal prints. I say not this as 
covertly glancing at the authors of certain 



maniucripts which have been submitted to 
my literary iudsment (though an epick in 
twenty-four oooks on the ''Taking of Jer- 
icho" might, save for the prudent fore- 
thought of Mrs. Wilbur in secreting the 
same just as I had arrived beneath the walls 
and was beginning a catalogue of the various 
horns and their blowers, too ambitiously 
emulous In longanimity of Homer's list of 
ships, might, I say, have rendered frustrate 
any hope I could entertain vaeare Musis 
for the small remainder of my days), bnt 
only the farther to secure myself agkiiist 
any imputation of unseemly forthputting. 
I will oarely subjoin, in this connexion, 
that, whereas Job was left to desire, in the 
soreness of his heart, that his ailvenmry 
' had- written a book, as perchance misan- 
thropically wishing to indite a review there- 
of, yet was not Satan allowed so far to teniiit 
him as to send Bilda4, Eliphaz, and Zophar 
each with an unprinled work in his wallet 
to be submitted to his censure. But of tl i is 
enough. Were I in neetl of other excuse, 
I might add that I write by the express de- 
sire of Mr. Biglow himself, whose entire 
winter leisure is occupied, as he assures me, 
in answering demands for autographs, a 
labor exacting enough in itself, and egre- 
giously so to him, who, being no ready pen- 
man, cannot sign so much as nis name with- 
out strange contortions of the face ( his nos», 
even, being essential to complete succesH) 
and painfully suppressed Saint- Yitus-dance 
of every muscle in his body. This, with 
his havmg been put in the Commission of 
the Peace by our excellent Governor (0. si 
sie omnes f) immediately on his accession 
to office, keeps him continually employe- 1. 
Hawi inexpertns loquor^ having for many 
years written myself J. P., and being not 
seldom applied to for specimens of my clii- 
rography, a reonest to which I have some- 
times over weakly assented, believing as I 
do tliat nothing written of set purpose can 
properly be called an antograph, but only 
those unpremeditated sallieR and lively run- 
nings which betray the fireside Man instead 



I 



232 



THE BIGLOW PAPEBS. 



of the hunted Notoriety douhlhig on his 
pursuers. But it is time that I should be- 
think ue of St Austin's prayer, liifera me a 
vieipto, if I would arrive at the matter in 
hand. 

Moreover, I had yet another reason for 
taking up tne pen myself. I am informed 
that the Ailatitie Monthly is mainly in- 
debted for its success to the contributions 
and editorial supervision of Dr. Holmes, 
whose excellent ** Annals of America " oc- 
cupy an honored place upon my shelves. 
I1ie journal itself I have never seen ; but if 
this be so, it might seem that the recommen- 
dation of a brother-clergyman (though par 
magU quam similis) should carry a greater 
weight. I suppose that you have a de- 
partment for iiistorical lucubrations, and 
should be glad^ if deemed desirable, to for- 
ward for publication my ** Collections for 
the Antiquities of Jaalam," and my (now 
happily complete) pedigree of the Wilbur 
family from infonsei origOf the Wild Boar 
of Araennes. withdmvm from the active 
duties of my profession by the settlement 
of a colleague-pastor, the Reverend Jedu- 
thun Hitchcock, formerly of Brutus Four- 
Comers, I might find time for further con- 
tributions to general literature on similar 
topicks. I have made large advances to- 
wards a completer genealogy of Mrs. Wil- 
bur'sfamily, the PUcozes, not, if I knowmy- 
self, from any idle vanity, but with the sole 
desire of rendering myself useful in my day 
and generation. NuUa dies tine lined, I 
inclose a meteorological register, a list of 
the births, deaths, and marria^, and a 
few memorabilia of longevity in Jaalam 
East Parish for the last half-century. 
Though spared to the unusual period of 
more than eighty years, I find no diminu- 
tion of my faculties or abatement of my 
natural v^gor, except a scarcely sensible 
decay of memory and a necessity of recur- 
ring to younger eyesight or spectacles for 
the finer print in (>uden. It would gratify 
me to make some further provision for de- 
clining years from the emoluments of my 
literaiy labors. I had intended to effect 
an uiBuratJce on my life, but was deterred 
tlierefrom by a circular from one of the of- 
fices, in which the sudden death of so large 
a pi-oportion of the insured was set forth 
as an inducement, that it seemed to me 
little less than a tempting of Providence. 
j\'eque in aitmmd innpid levis esae eenecttu 
pfdestj ne aapienti quidem. 

Thus far concerning Mr. Biglow ; and so 
much seemed needful {brevis cue laboro) 
by way of preliminary, after a silence of 
fourteen years. He greatly fears lest he 
mav in this essay have fallen below him- 
self, well knowing that, if exercise be dan- 



gerous on a full stomach, no less ao is 
writing on a full reputation. Beset as he 
has been on all sides, he could not refrain, 
and would only imprecate patience till he 
shall again have *'got the lumg*' (as he 
calls it) of an accomplishment long disused. 
The letter of Mr. Sawin was received some 
time in last June, and others have followed 
which will in due season be submitted to 
the publick. How largely his statemeuts 
are to be- depended on, 1 more than merely 
dubitate. He was always distinguished for 
a tendency to exaggeration, — it might aJ- 
most be qualified by a stronger term. For- 
titer menHre, aliquid henret, seemed to be 
his favourite rule of rhetorick. That he 
is actuaUy where he says he is the post- 
mark wouJd seem to confirm ; that he was 
received with the publick demonstrations 
he describes would appear consonant with 
what we know of the habits of those re- 
gions ; but further than this I venture not 
to decide. I have sometimes suspected a 
vein of humor in him which leads him to 
speak by contraries ; but since, in the un- 
restrained intercourse of private life, 1 have 
never observed in him any striking powers 
of invention, I am the more willing to put 
a certain qualified faith in the incidents and 
the details of life and manners which give 
to his narratives some portion of the inter- 
est and entertainment which characterizes 
a Century Sermon. 

It may be expected of me that I should 
say something to Justify myself with the 
world for a seemii^ inconsistency with my 
well-known principles in allowing my 
youngest son to raise a company for the 
war, a fact known to all through the me- 
dium of the publick nrints. I did reason 
with the young man, but expelia* naturam 
fttrcdf iamen usque recurrU. Having my- 
self been a chaplain in 1812, 1 could the 
less wonder that a man of war had sprung 
from my loins. It was. indeeil, grievous 
to send my Benjamin, the child of my old 
age ; but after the discomfiture of Manas- 
sas, I with my own hands did buckle on 
his annour, trusting in the great Com- 
forter and Commander for strength accord- 
ing to my need. For truly the memory 
of a brave son dead in his shroud were 
a greater staff of my declining years than 
a living coward (if those may be said to 
have lived who carry all oi themselves 
into the grave with them), though his 
days might be long in the land, and he 
should get much goods. It is not till our 
earthen vessels are broken that we find 
and tnily possess the treasure that was 
laid up in them. Migravi in ammam 
meam, 1 have sought refuse in my own 
soul; nor would I be anamed by the 



THE BIGLOW PAPEBS. 



233 



heathen comedian with his Nequam illud 
verbum. bene vuUf niei benefacU. During 
our dark days, I read constantly in the in- 
spired book of Job, which I believe to con- 
tain more food to maintain the fibre of the 
sool for right living and high thinking 
than all pagan literature together, though 
I wonld by no means vilipend the study of 
the classicks. There I read that Job said 
in his despair, even aa the fool saith in his 
heart tliere is no Grod, — The tabernacles 
of robbers prosper, and the^ that provoke 
God are secure." (Job xiL 6.) But 1 
sought farther till 1 found this likripture 
also, which I would have those perpend 
who have striven to turn our Israel aside 
to the worship of strange gods : — " if I 
did despise the cause of my man-servant 
or of my maid-servant when they contended 
with me, what then shall I do when God 
riseth up ? and when he visiteth, what 
shall I answer him?" {Job zxzi. 13, 14.) 
On this text I preached a discourse on the 
last day of Fasting and Humiliation with 
general acceptance, though there were not 
wanting one or two La^iceans who said 
that I sDould have waited till the President 
announced his policy. But let us hope 
and pray, remembering this of Saint Greg- 
ory, Vuit Deus rogarif vult cogi, vuU quA- 
dam importuniUUe vincL 

We had our first fall of snow on Friday 
last Frosts have been unusually back- 
ward this fall. A singular circumstance 
oceurrerl in this town on the 20th October, 
in the family of Deacon Pelatiah Tinkham. 
On the previous evening, a few moments 
before Cunily prayers, 



[The editors of the Atlantic find it ne- 
cessarv here to cut short the letter of their 
valued correspondent, which seemed cal- 
culated rather on the rates of longevity in 
Jaalam than for less favored localities. 
They have every encouragement to hope 
that he will write afniin.] 
With esteem and respect, 
Your obedient servant, 

Homer Wilbur, A. M. 

It 's some consid'ble of a spell lence I 

hain*t writ no letters, 
An' ther' *a gret changes hez took place 

in all ix)lit*cle metters ; 
Some canderdates air dead an' gone, an' 

some hez ben defeated. 
Which 'mounts to pooty much the same ; 

fer it 'b ben proved repeated 
A botch o' bread thet hain't riz once 

ain't goin* to rise agin, 



An' it's jest money throwed away to 

put the eniptins in : 
But thet 's wut folks wun't never lam ; 

they dunno how to go, 
Arter vou want their room, no more 'n 

a bullet-headed beau ; 
Ther' 's oilers chaps a-bangin' roun' thet 

can't see peatime 's ))ast, 
Mia'ble as roostera in a rain, heads 

down an' tails half-mast: 
It ain't disgraceful bein' beat, when a 

holl nation doos it. 
But Chance is like an amberill, — it 

don't take twice to lose it 

1 spose you *re kin' o* cur'oua, now, to 

know why 1 hain't writ. 
Wal, 1 've ben where a litt'iy taste 

don't somehow seem to mt 
Th* encouragement a feller d think, 

thet's used to public schools. 
An' where sech things ez paper 'n' ink 

air clean agin the niles : 
A kind o' vicyvarsy house, built dreffle 

strong an' stout. 
So 's 't honest people can't get in, ner 

t' other sort git out. 
An' with the winders so contrived, 

you 'd prob'ly like the view 
Better alookin' in than out, though it 

seems sing'lar, tu ; 
But then the landlord sets by ye, can't 

bear ye out o' sight. 
And locks ye up ez reg'lar ez an outside 

door at night 

This world is awfle contrary : the rope 

may stretch your neck 
Thet mebbv kep' another chap frum 

washin off a wreck ; 
An' you may see the taters grow in one 

poor feller's patch. 
So small no self-respectin' hen thet ral- 
lied time 'ould scratch. 
So small the rot can't find 'em out, an' 

then agin, nex' door, 
Ez big ez wut hogs dream on when 

they're 'most too fat to snore. 
But groutin' ain't no kin' o' use ; an' ef 

the fust throw fails. 
Why, up an* try agin, thet *s all, — the 

cop])ers nin't all tails ; 
Thouffh I hev seen 'em when I thought 

they hed n't no more head 
Than 'd sarve a nussin' Brigadier thet 

gits some ink to shed. 



234 



THE BIGLOW PAPESS. 



1 



When I writ last, I 'd l)en turned loose 

by that blanied nigger, Pomp, 
Feriorner than a miis(]ua8h» ef you'd 

took an' dreened his swamp : 
Bat I ain't o' the mecc'uin' kind, thet 

sets an' thinks fer weeks 
The bottom's out o' th' univane ooz 

their own gillpot leaks. 
I hed to cross heiyous an' criks, (wal, it 

did beat all natur*,) 
Upon a kin' o' corderoy, lust log, then 

alligator ; 
Luck'ly, the critters wam't sharp-sot; 

I ffuess 't WU2 overruled 
They 'd done their momin's marketin' 

an' gut their hunger cooled; 
Fer missionaries to the Creeks an' run- 

aways are viewed 
By them an' folks ez sent express to be 

their reg'lar food ; 
Wutever 't wux, they laid an' snoozed 

ez peacefully ez sinners, 
Meek ez dii^stin' deacons be at ordina- 
tion dinners ; 
£f any on *em turned an* snapped, I 

let 'em kin' o' taste 
My live-oak leg, an' so, ye see, ther' 

wam't no gret o' waste ; 
Fer they found out in quicker time than 

ef they 'd ben to college 
'T warn' t heartier food than though 't wuz 

made out o' the tree o' knowledge. 
But / tell you my other leg hed lamed 

wnt pizon-nettle meant, 
An' var'ous other usefle things afore I 

reached a settlement, 
An' all o' me thet wuz n*t sore an' 

sendin* prickles thm me 
Wuz jest the leg 1 parted with in lickin' 

Montezumy : 
A useful limb it 's ben to me, an* more 

of a support 
Than wut tne other hez ben, «- coz I 

dror my pension for *t. 

Wal, I gut in at last where folks wuz 

civerlized an' white, 
£z I diskivered to my cost afore 't wam't 

hardly night ; 
Fer 'z I wuz settiu' in the bar a-takin' 

Ruuthiu' hot, 
An' feelitr like a man agin, all over in 

one spot, 
A feller thet sot oppersite, arter a squint 

at me, 
liep up an' drawed his peacemaker, an*, 

" Dash it, Sir," suz he. 



" I 'm doubledashed ef you ain't him 

thet stole my yaller chettle, 
(You 're all the str&nger thet 's atoond,) 

so now you 've gut to settle ; 
It ain't no use to aigerfy ner tiy to cat 

up frisky, 
I know ye ez I know the smell of ole 

chain-lightnin' whiskey ; 
We 're lor-abidin' folks down here, we 'U 

fix ye so 's 't a bar 
Would n' tech ye with a ten-foot pole ; 

(Jedge, you jest warm the tar ;> 
You '11 think you 'd better ha' gat among 

a tribe o' Mongrel Tartars, 
'fore we 've done sliowin' how we raise 

oar Soutiiiun prize tar-martyrs ; 
A moaltin' fallen cherabim, ef he should 

see ve, 'd snicker, 
Thinkin he warn*t a snckemstance. 

Come, eenlemun, le' 's liquor ; 
An', Giii'rai, when yon 've mixed the 

drinks an' chalked *em up^ tote 

roun' 
An' see ef tlier* 's a feather-bed (thet 's 

borryable) in town 
We 11 t^ ye fair, ole Grafted-Lq^ an' 

ef the tar wun't stick, 
Th' ain't not a juror here but wut 'U 

'quit ye double-quick." 
To cut it short, I wtm't say sweet, they 

gi' me a good dip, 
(They ain't per/csain* Bahptists here,) 

then ffive the bed a rip, — 
The jury d sot, an' quicker 'n a flash 

they hetched me out, a liWn' 
Extemp ry mammoth turkey-chick fer a 

Fqee Thanksgivin*. 
Thet 1 felt some stuck up ia wut it 's 

nat'ral to suppose. 
When i)oppylar enthusiasm hed fiui* 

nisned me sech clo*es ; 
(Ker 't ain't without edvantiges, tim 

kin' o' suit, ye see, 
It 's water-proof, an' water 's wut I like 

kep* out o* me ;) 
But nut content with thet, they took a 

kerridge from the fence 
An' rid me roun' to see the place, en- 
tirely free 'f expense, 
With forty-'leven new kines o' sarae 

without no chaige acquainted me, 
6i' me Uiree cheers, an' vowed thet I 

wuz all their fahncy painted me ; { 
They treated me to all their eggs ; (they | 

keep 'em I should think, 
Fer seen ovations, pooty long, for thiy | 

wuz mos' distinu ;} 



J • 



I Wal, I gilt in at *. 



I 



I > * • 



u 



; « 
J 



<< .!• > > 



T..E r.:\v YORK 

r'ii 3. ;C LIBRARY 




ASTOn, LENOX 
TILD^M I O'jr.D.^IlONb 



tsm 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



235 



They starred me thick *z the Milky-Way 

with indiscrim'nit cherity, 
Fer wat we call reception eggs air sun- 
thin* of a rerity ; 
Green ones is plentifle anongh, skurce 

wttth a nigger's getherin'. 
But yoar dead-ripe ones ran^ high fer 

treatin' Nothnn brethenn ; 
A spotteder, ringstreakeder child the' 

wani't in Uncle Sam's 
Holl farm, — a cross of striped pig an' 

one o' Jacob's lambs ; 
'T wa2 Dannil in the lions' den, new an' 

enlarged edition, 
An' evervthin' fust-rate o' 'ts kind ; the* 

¥Fam't no impersition. 
People 's impulsiyer down here than wut 

our folKs to home be. 
An' kin* o* go it 'ith a resh in raisin' 

Uail Columbv : 
Thet 's ao : an' they swarmed out like 

bees, for your real Southun men's 
Time is n't o much more account than 

an ole settin* hen's ; 
(They jetst work semioccashnally, or else 

don't work at all, 
An* so their time an' 'tention both air at 

saci'ty's call.) 
Talk about hospatality! wut Nothun 

town d' ye know 
Would take a totle stranger up an* treat 

him gratis so? 
You 'd better b'lieve ther* *s nothin' like 

this fq>endin' days an' nights 
Along 'ith a dependent i:ace fer ciyerliz- 

in* whites. 

But this wuz all prelim'nary; it 's so 

Gran' Jurors here 
Fin* a true bill, a hendier way than 

oum, an* nut so dear ; 
So arter this they sentenced me, to make 

all tight 'n' snug, 
Afore a reg'lar court o* law, to ten years 

in the Jug: 
I did n't make no gret defence : you 

don't feel much like speakiu*. 
When, ef you let your clamshells gape, 

a quart o' tar will leak in : 
|> I hev heam tell o* winged words, but 
i pint o* fact it tethers 

The spoutin* gift to hey your words tu 

thick sot on with feathers. 
An' Choate ner Webster would n't ha* 

made an A 1 kin' o' speech 
Astride a Southun chestnut horse sharp- 
er 'n a baby's screech. 



Two year ago they ketched the thief, *n' 

seein' 1 wuz innercent, 
The^r jest uncorked an' le' me run, an' 

in my stid the sinner sent 
To see how he liked pork 'n' pone flay- 

ored with wa'nut saplin'. 
An' nary social priy'ledge but a one-hoss, 

stam-wheet chaplin. 
When I come out, the folks behayed 

mos' gen'manly an' harnsome ; 
They 'lowed it would n't be more 'n 

right, ef I should cuss 'n' dam 

some: 
The Cunnle he apolergized; snz he, 

" 1 '11 du wut '« right. 
I *11 giye ye settisfection now by shootin' 

ye at sight. 
An' giye the nigger (when he *s caught), 

to pay himTer his trickin' 
In gittin* the wrong man took up, a 

most H fired lickin', — 
It 's jest the way with all on *em, the 

inconsistent critters, 
They 're 'most enough to make a man 

blaspheme his momin' bitters ; 
I 'U be your frien' thru thick an' thin 

an' in all kines o' weathers. 
An' all you '11 hey to pay fer 's jest the 

waste o' tar an' feathers : 
A lady owned the bed, ye see, a widdcr, 

tu, Miss Shennon ; 
It wuz ^ her mite ; we would ha' took 

another, ef ther *d ben one : 
We don't make no charge for the ride 

an' all the other fixins. 
Le' 's liquor; Gin'ral, you can chalk our 

friend for all the mixins." 
A meetin' then wuz called, where they 

** RssoLyBD, Thet we respec' 
B. S. Esquire for quallerties o heart an' 

intellec* 
Peculiar to Columby*s sile, an* not to no 

one else's, 
Thet makes EunSpean tyrans scringe in 

all their gilded pel'ces, 
An' doos gret honor to our race an' 

Southun institootions " : 
(I giye ye jest the substance o' the lead- 
in' resolootions :) 
''Resolved, Thet we reyere in him a 

soger 'thout a flor, 
A martyr to the princerples o' libbaty 

an' lor : 
Resolved, Thet other nations all, ef sot 

'longside o' us. 
For vartoo, lamin', chiyyerlry, ain't n<^ 

ways wuth a cuss." 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



237 



Where a man *8 snnthin' eoz he 's white, 

an' whiskey *s cheap ez fleas. 
An* the financial pollercy jes' sooted my 

idees, 
Thet 1 friz down right where I wuz, 

merried the Wiader Shennon, 
(Her thirds wuz part in cotton-land, 

part in the curse o' Canaan,) 
An' here I be ez lively ez a chipmnnk 

on a wall, 
With nothin' to feel rileil about much 

later 'n Eddam's fall. 

£z fur ez human foresight goes, we 

made an even trade : 
She gut an overseer, an' I a fem'ly 

ready-made. 
The youngest on 'em 's 'mos' growed up, 

rugged an' spry ez weazles. 
So 's 't ther' *s no resk o' doctors* bills 

fer hoopin' -cough an* measles. 
Our farm's at Turkey- Buzzard Roost, 

Little Big Boosy River, 
Wal located in all respex, — fer 't ain't 

the chills 'n* fever 
Thet makes my writin' seem to squirm ; 

a Southuner 'd allow I 'd 
Some call to shake, for I *ve jest hed to 

meller a new cowhide. 
Miss S. is all 'f a lady ; th' ain't no bet- 
ter on Big Boosy 
Ner one with more accomplishmunts 

'twixt here an' Tuscaloosy ; 
She's an F. F., the tallest kind, an' 

prouder 'n the Gran' Turk, 
An' never hed a relative thet done a 

stroke o' work ; 
Hern ain't a scrimpin' fem'ly sech ez 

you git up Down East, 
Th' ain't a growed member on 't but 

owes his thousuns et the least : 
She is some old ; but then agin ther' 's 

drawbacks in my sheer : 
Wut 's left o' me ain't more *n enough 

to make a Brigadier : 
"Wust is, thet she hez tantrums ; she *s 

like Seth Moody's* gun 
(Him thet wuz nicknamed frum his limp 

Ole Dot an* Kerry One) ; 
He *d left her loaded up a spell, an' hed 

to git her clear. 
So he on hitched, — Jeerusalem I the 

middle o' last year 
Wuz right nex* door compared to where 

she kicked the critter tu 
(Though jest whei*e he brought up wuz 

wut no human never knew) ; 



His brother Asaph picked her up an' 

tied her to a tree. 
An' then she kicked an hour 'n' a half 

afore she 'd let it be : 
Wal, Miss S. doas hev cuttins-up an' 

pourins-out o* vials, 
But then she hez her widder's thirds, an' 

all on us hez trials. 
My objec', though, in writin* now 

wam't to allude to sech, 
But to another suckemstance more 

dellykit to tech, — 
I want thet you should grad'lly break 

my merriage to Jerushy, 
An' there 's a heap of argymunts thet 's 

em pie to indooce ye : 
Fust place. State's Prison, — wal, it 's 

tnie it warn't fer crime, o' course, 
But then it 's jest the same fer her in 

gittin' a disvorce ; 
Nex* place, my State 's secedin* out hez 

leg'lly lef me free 
To merry any one I please, pervidin' 

it 's a she ; 
Fin'lly, I never wun't come back, she 

need n't hev no fear on 't, 
But then it 's wal to fix things right fer 

fear Miss S. should hear on 't ; 
Lastly, I 've gut religion South, an* 

Rushy she's a pagan 
Thet sets by th* graven imiges o* the 

gret Nothun Dagon ; 
(Now I hain*t seen one in six munts, 

for, sence our Treashry I.<oan, 
Though yaller boys is thick anough, 

eagles hez kind o* flown ;) 
An* ef J wants a stronger pint than 

them thet I hev stated, 
Wy, she's an aliun in'my now, an' 

I *ve been comfiscated, — 
For sence we 've entered on th' estate o' 

the late nayshnul eagle, 
She hain't no kin' o' right but jes* wut 

I allow ez legle : 
Wut doos Secedin' mean, ef *t ain't thet 

nat'nd rights hez riz, *n' 
Thet wut is mine 's my own, but wut *s 

another man's ain't his'n ? 

Besides, I could n*t do no else ; Miss S. 

suz she to me, 
"You've sheered my bed," [thet's 

when I paid my interdnction fee 
To Southun rites,] **an' ken' your 

sheer," [wal, 1 allow it stick ed 
So's *t I wuz most six weeks in jail 

afore I gut me picked,] 



238 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



" Ner never paid no demmiges ; bnt 

thet wun t do no harm, 
Pcnridin* thet you '11 ondertake to over- 
see the farm ; 
(My eldes' boy 's so took up, wut witli 

the Ringtail Rangers 
An' settin' in the Jestice-Court for wel- 

comin' o' strangers '* ;) 
[He sot on me ;] ''an' so, ef you'll jest 

ondertake the care 
Upon a mod'rit sellery, we'll np an' 

call it square ; 
But ef you can't conclude," snz she, an' 

give a kin' o* grin, 
"Wy, the Gran' Jurymen, I 'zpect, '11 

hev to set agin." 
That's the way metters stood at fust; 

now wut wuz I to du. 
But jes' to make the best on 't an* off 

coat an' buckle tu ? 
Ther' ain't a livin' man thet finds an 

income necessarier 
Than me, — bimeby I '11 tell ye how I 

fin'lly come to merry her. 

She hed another motive, tu : I mention 

of it here 
T encoiirase lads thet 's growin' up to 

study n' persevere. 
An' show 'em now much better 't pays 

to mind their winter-schoolin' 
Than to go off on benders 'n' sech, an' 

waste their time in foolin' ; 
Ef 't wam't for studyin' evenins, why, I 

never 'd ha' ben here 
An oni'ment o' saciety, in my approprut 

spear: 
She wanted somebody, ye see, o' taste 

an* cultivation. 
To talk along o' preachers when they 

stopt to the plantation; 
For folks in Dixie th't read an' rite, 

onless it is by jarks. 
Is skurce ez wut they wuz among th' 

oridfl:enle patriarchs ; 
To fit a feller f^ wut they call the soshle 

higherarchy. 
All thet vou 've gut to know is jes' be- 

yund an evrage darky ; 
Schoolin' 's wut they can't seem to stan', 

they 're tu consamed high-pressure. 
An' knowin' t' much might spile a boy 

for bein' a Secesher. 
We hain't no settled preachin' here, ner 

ministeril taxes ; 
The min'ster's only settlement 's the 

carpet-bag he packs his 



Razor an' soap-brush intn, with his 

hymbook an' his Bible, — 
But they du preach, I swan to man, it *• 

pufkly mdescrib'le ! 
They go it like an Ericsson's teii-hos»> 

power coleric in^ne. 
An' make Ole Split-Foot winch an' 

scjuirm, for all he 's used to singein'; 
Hawkins's whetstone ain't a pinch o' 

primin' to the innards 
To hearin' on 'em put free grace t' a lot 

o' tough old sinhards ! 
But I must eend this letter now : 'fore ' 

long I '11 send a fresh un ; 
I 've lots o' things to write about, per- 

ticklerly Seceshun : 
I 'm called off now to mission-work, to 

let a leetle law in 
To Cynthy's hide : an' so, till death, 
Youro, 

BIRDOFREDUM SAWIN. 



No. II. 

MASON AND SLIDELL : A YANKEE 
IDYLL. 

TO THB EDITORS OF THE ATLANTIC 
MONTHLT. 

Jaalam, 8th Jan., 186S: 

Gehtlbmek, — I was highly gratified by 
the insertion of a portion of my letter ia 
the last number or your valuable and en- 
tertaining Miscellany, though in a tyiie 
which rendered its substance inaccessitlte 
even to the beautiful new spectacles pre- 
sented to me by a Committee of the Parish 
on New Year's Day. I trust that I was 
able to bear your very considerable abridg- 
ment of my lucubrations with a spirit be- 
coming a dnristian. My third granddaugh- 
ter, Rebekah,a«^d fourteen years, and whom 
I have trained to read slowly and with 

f)roper emphasis (a practice too much iieg- 
ected in our modem systems of educa- 
tion), read aloud to roe the excellent essay 
upon " Old Age," the anthour of which 1 
cannot help suspecting to be a young nj.in 
who has never yet known what it was to 
have snow (canUies morosa) upon his own 
roof. Dissolve frigiiSy large super foco lig- 
na reponenSf is a rule for the young, whove 
wood-pile is yet abundant for such clieerfui 
lenitives. A good life behind him is the 
best thing to Keep an old man's shoulders 
from sliivering at every breath of sorrow or 
ill-fortune, out methinks it were easier 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



239 



for an old nrnn to feel the disadvantages of 
Touth than the advantages of age. Of these 
latter I reckon one of the chiefeRt to be 
this : that we attach a less inordinate value 
to our own productions, and, rlistrusting 
daily more and more our own wisfiom (with 
the conceit whereof at twenty we wrap our- 
selves away from knowledge as with a gar- 
ment), do reconcile ourselves with the wis- 
dom of God. I could have wished, indeed, 
that room might have been made for the 
reddue of the anecdote relating to Deacon 
Tinkham, which would not only have grat- 
ified a natural curiosity on the part of the 
publick (as I have reason to know from 
several letters of inquiry alrc»idy received), 
but would also, as I think, have lai^ely in- 
creased the circulation of your Magazine in 
this town, //ihil humani alienuvi, there 
w a curiosity about the affairs of our neigh- 
bors which is not only pardonable, but even 
commendable. But i shall abide a more 
fitting season. 

As touching the following literary effort 
of Esc^nire Biglow, much might be profita- 
bly said on the topick of Idyllick and Pas- 
toral Poetry, and concerning the proper 
distinctions to be made between them, from 
Theocritus, the inventor of the former, to 
Collins, the latest authonr I know of who 
has emulated the classicks in the latter 
style. But in the time of a Civil War wor- 
thy a Milton to defend and a Lucan to sing, 
it may be reasonably doubted whether the 
publick, never too studious of serious in- 
stmction, might not consider other objects 
' more deserving of present attention. (Jon- 
I eeniing the tiUe of Idyll, which Mr. Biglow 
I has adopted at m]^ suggestion, it may not 
I be improper to animaovert, that the name 

groperly signifies a poem somewhat rustick 
I phrase (for, though the learned are not 
agreed as to the particular direct employed 
by Theocritus, the^ are universauimous 
both as to its rusticity and its capacity of 
ritning now and then to the level of more 
elevated sentiments and expressions), while 
it is also descriptive of real scenery and 
manners. Yet it must be admitted that the 
production now in question (which here and 
there bears perhaps too plainly the marks 
of my correcting hand) does partake of the 
nature of a Pastoral, inasmuch as the in- 
terlocutors therein are purely imaginary 
beings, and the whole is little better than 
mawvw vmaK ovap. The plot was, as I be- 
lieve, suggested by the " Twa Briggs " of 
Robert Bums, a Scottish poet of the last 
century, as that found its prototype in the 
" Mutual Complaint of rlainstanes and 
Cansey ** by Fergiisson, though the metre 
of this latter be different by a foot in each 
Terse. I reminded my talented young par- 



ishioner and friend that Concord Bridge 
had long since yielded to the edacious tootli 
of Time. But lie answered me to this ef- 
fect : that there was no greater mistake of 
an authour than to suppose the reader had 
no fancy of his own ; that, if once that fac- 
ulty was to be called into activity, it were 
better to be in for the whole sheep than the 
shoiUder ; and that he knew Concord like 
a book, — an expression questionable in 
propriety, since there are few things with 
which he is not more familisr than with 
the printed page. In proof of what be af- 
firmed, he showed me some verses which 
with others he had stricken out as too much 
delaying the action, but which I communi- 
cate in this place because they rightly de- 
fine ''punkfn-seed'* (which Mr. Bartlett 
would have a kind of perch, — a creature 
to which I have found a rod or pole not to 
be so easily equivalent in our inland waters 
as in the books of arithmetic), and because 
it conveys an enloginm on the worthy son 
of an excellent father, with whose acquaint- 
ance {eheu, fugaces annil) I was formerly 
honoured. 

"Bat nowadays the Bridge aint wnt they 

show, 
80 much ez Em 'son, Hawthorne, tn' Thoreau. 
I know the village, though ; was sent there 

once 
A-achoolln', 'cause to home I played the 

dunce ; 
An' I *ve ben sence a-vlsitin' the Jedge, 
Whose oarding whispers with the river's edge. 
Where 1 've sot mornln's huy as the bream, 
Whose on'y business is to head up-stream, 
(We call 'em pnnkin-seed,) or eUie in chat 
Along 'th the Jedge, who covers with his hat 
More wit an' gumption an' shrewd Yankee 

sense 
Than there Is mosses on an ole stone fence." 

1 

Concerning the subject-matter of the 
verses, I have not the leisure at present to 
write so fully as I could wish, my time be- 
ing occupied with the preparation of a dis- 
course for the forthcoming bi-centenary 
celebration of the first settlement of Jaa- 
1am East Parish. It may gratify the pub- 
lick interest to mention the circumstance, 
that my investigations to this end liave 
enabled me to verify the fact (of much his- 
torick importance, and hitherto hotly de- 
bated) that Shearjashub Tarbox was the 
first child of white parentage born in this 
town, being nameti in his father's w^ill 
imder date August 7th, or 9th, 1662. 
It is well known that those who advocate 
the claims of Mehetable Goings are unable 
to find any trace of her existence prior to 
October of that year. As respects the set- 
tlement of the Mason and Sliuell question, 
Mr. Biglow has not incorrectly stated the 



240 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



popnlar sentiment, so far as I can judge 
Dy its expression in this locality. For 
myself, 1 feel more sorrow than resent- 
ment : for I am old enough to have heanl 
those talk of England who still, even after 
the unhappy estraagement, could not un- 
Bchool their lips from calling her the 
Mother-Country. But England has insisted 
on ripping up old wounds, and has undone 
the healing work of fifty years ; for nations 
do not retoson, they only feel, and the nm:- 
icc i)\juria fomioK rankles in their mincis as 
bitterly as in that of a woman. And be- 
cause this is so, 1 feel the more satisfaction 
that our Government has acted (as all Gov- 
ernments should, standing as they do be- 
tween the people and their passions) as 
if it had arrived at years of discretion. 
There are three short and simple words, 
the hanleMi of all to pronounce in any lan- 
guage (and I suspect they were no ea.sier 
before the confusion of tongues), but which 
no man or nation that cannot utter can 
claim to hnve arrived at manhood. Those 
wonls are, / vxis wrmig ; and I am proud 
that, while England played the boy, our 
nders had strength enough from the Peo- 
ple below and wis<lom enough from God 
&lx>ve to quit themselves like men. 

The sore points on both sides have been 
skilfully exasperated by interested and 
nnscnipulous persons, who saw in a war 
between the two countries the only hope 
of profitable return for their investment in 
Confe<lerate stock, whether political or 
financial. Tlie alwa^'s superouious, often 
insulting, and sometimes even brutal tone 
of British journals and publick men has 
certainly not tended to soothe whatever 
resentment might exist in America. 

"Perhaps it was right to dissemble your love. 
But why did you Kick me down stairs?" 

We have no reason to complain that 
England, as a necessary consequence of 
her clubs, has become a great society for 
the minding of other people's business, 
and we can smile good-naturedly when she 
lectures other nations on the sins of arro- 
gance and conceit ; but we may justly con- 
sider it a breacli of the political amrenances 
which are expecti*d to regulate the inter- 
coui*8e of one well-bred goveniment with 
another, when men holding places in the 
ministry allow tlieinselves to dictate our 
domestic ])oliry, to instnict us in our duty, 
and to sti^niatize as unholy a war for the 
rescue of whatever a higli-minded jHJople 
should hold most vital and most vsacred. 
Was it in good taste, that I may use the 
mildest term, for Earl Kussell to exponntl 
our own Constitution to President Lincoln, 



or to make a new and fallacious applica- 
tion of au old phrase for our benefit, ax»\ 
tell us that the Rebels were fighting for in- 
dependence and we for empire / As if all 
wars for independence w^ere by nature just 
and deserving of sympathy, and all wars 
for empire ignoble and worthy only of 
reprobation, or as if these easy phrases in 
any way characterized this terrible strug- 
gle, — terrible not so truly in any superfi- 
cial sense, as from the essential and deailly 
enmity or the principles that underlie it 
His Lordship* it bit of borrowed rhetoric 
would justify Smith O'Brien, Nana SaJiib, 
and the Maori chieftains, while it would 
condemn nearly every war in which Eng- 
land has ever been engaged. Was it so 
very presumptuous in us to think that it 
would be decorous' in English statesmen 
if they spared time enough to acquire some 
kind of knowleil^e, though of the niO!«t 
elementar}' kind, in regard to this country 
and the questions at issue here, before tbey 
pronounced so otf-hand a judgment ? Or 
IS political information expected to come 
Dogberry-fashion in England, like reading 
and writing, by nature? 

And now all respectable England is won- 
dering at our irritability, and sees a quite 
satisfactor}' explanation of it in our na- 
tional vanity. Suave mari magno, it ts 
Eleasant, sitting in the easy-chairs of 
►o^vning Street, to sprinkle pepjier on the 
raw wounds of a kinared people struggling 
for life, and philosophical to find in self 
conceit the cause of our instinctive resent- 
ment. Surely we were of all nations the 
least liable to any temptation of vanity at 
a time when the gravest anxiety and the 
keenest sorrow were never absent from our 
hearts. Nor is conceit the exclusive attri- 
bute of any one nation. The earlie:>t of 
English travellers. Sir John Mandeville, 
took a less provincial view of the matter 
when he saia, " For fro what partie of the 
erthe that men duellen, other aboven or 
beneathen, it semethe alweys to hem that 
duellen that thei gon more nghte than any 
other folke." The English have always 
had their fair share of this amiable nnality. 
We maysay of them still, as the autnonr ol 
the Lettres Cabah'stiqvrs said of them 
more than a century ago, ** Ces demurs 
disent natureUemeni qii'U fCy a gu'rtLc qui 
soient cstimabUs." And, as he also says, 
^^J'aimerois presque aidanl Unnber entrt 
les mains d*un Inqnisitrur qtte d*un An- 
glois qui me /nit sentir sans cesse comhim 
il s'estimt plus que mai, et qui n^ daitpu 
tne parler que pour injurier ma ^Va/ioii rt 
pour m'ennuyer du r^cit des grandes quali- 
Us de la sienne/^ Of this Bull we may 
safely say with Horace, habet foanum in 



THE BIGIOW PAPEKS. 



I It 's iiBteral they (houM i 

He 'd 0U)f h to h«' took the 
\li* hwl h«r sot OD by ■ 
ihe v'Bii a mail-ship, bii' 
\n' tliet, they say, lie 

!^az the old practice, I 

ES tried u|ion a ateamer, 
I'oii may take out despi 



!!lianged pint o' view I 

over1>oanl 
iVith law an' goapel, «1 

rJled! 
ve, EngUod'a law, 
Ui ollera ben, "/'w j 

Take nai^ man! Fine 

^y, aha hez taken hoii 

kn' n-ouM agin, an' n 

right to, 
^f y/e warn t itrong enon 

)r all the sarsa thet I <xn call to mind, I 
England doot make the most onnlensant 

kind r } 

t 'a you 're tlie sinner oilers, ahe '* the , 

Vut 'a good '» all English, all thet is n't 

Vut profits her is ollera right an' just, 
kn' ef you don't iwui Scriptur so, jou | 

ihe 'a praised hetself onLil ahe fairly 

thinks I 

"here ain't no light in Natur when she 

{ain't she the Tea Commao'menti in | 

her pus F ' 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



245. j 



Coold the world stir *thout she wt^nt, tu, 

ez nus! 
She ain't like other mortals, thct 's a 

fact : 
She never stopped the habus-corpus act, 
Kor specie payiueutii, uor vhe never yet 
Cut down the interest ou her public 

debt ; 
She don't put down i-ebellious, lets *eni 

breed, 
An' 's oilers williu' Ireland should se* 

cede ; 
She 's all that 's honest, hounable, an' 

fair. 
An* when the vartooe died they made 

her heir. 

THE HOXIMENT. 

Wal, wal, two wrongs don't never make 

a right ; 
£f we 're mistaken, own up, an' don't 

fight: 
For gracious* sake, ha'u't we enough to 

du 
*thout gettin' up a fight with England, 

tuf 
She thinks we 're rabble-rid — 

THE BRIDGE. 

An* so we can't 
Distinguish 'twixt You ought nt an' 

Vousha: n'i/ 
She jedges by herself ; she 's no idear 
How 't stiddies folks to give 'em their 

fair sheer : 
The odds 'twixt her an' us is plain 's a 

steeple, — 
Her People 's turned to Mob, our Mob 's 

turned People. 

THE HONIHEXT. 

She 's riled jes' now— 

THE BRIDGE. 

Plain proof her cause ain't strong, — 
The one thet fust gits mad 's 'most oilers 

wrong. 
Why, sence she helped in lickin' Nap the 

Fust, 
An' pricked a bubble jest agoin' to 

bust. 
With Kooshy, Prooshy, Austry, all as- 

sfxtin', 
Th' ain't nut a face but wut she 's shook 

her fist in. 



£z though she done it all, an' ten times 

moif. 
An' nothiu' never hed gut done afore, 
Nor never could agin', 'thout she wuz 

spliced 
Ou to one eeud an' gin th' old airth a 

hoist. 
She is some punkins, thet I wuu't deny, 
(For ain't she some related to you 'u' 

I?) 
But there 's a few small iutiists here 

below 
Outside the counter o*. John Bull an' 

Co, 
An', though they can't conceit how 't 

should be so, 
I guess the Lord druv down Creation's 

spiles 
'thout no grel helpin' from the British 

Isles, 
An' could contrive to keep things i»ootv 

stiff 
£f they withdrawed from business in a 

milf ; 
I ha' n't no patience with sech swellin' 

fellers ez 
Think God can't forge 'thout them to 

blow the bellerses. 

THE MONIMENT. 

You *re oilers quick to set your back 

aridge, 
Though t suits a tom-cat more 'n a 

sober bridge : 
Don't you git het : they thought the 

thing was planned ; 
They '11 cool off when they come to 

understand. 

THE BRIDGE. 

Ef thet *s wilt you ex|)ect, you '11 ?iev 

to wait : 
Folks never understand the folks they 

hate : 
She *11 fin' some other grievance jest ez 

good, 
'fore the month 's out, to git misunder- 
stood. 
England cool off ! She *11 do it, ef Khe 

sees 
She 's run her head into a swarin o' 

hees. 
I ain't so prejudiced ez wut you sfiose : 
I hev thought England was tlie l^st 

thet goes ; 



■ 

I 



i 



I 



246 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



Remember (no, you can't), when / was 

Oixi nave Uu King waa all the tune you 

lieeixl : 
But it 's enough to turn Wachuaet roun' 
This Htunqiiu fellent when you think 

they 're down. 



THE HONIMENT. 

But, neighbor, ef they prove their claim 

at law. 
The best way is to settle, an' not {aw. 
An' don't le' 's mutter 'bout the awfle 

bricks 
We '11 give 'em, ef we ketch 'em in a 

tix : 
That 'ere 's most frequently the kin' o' 

talk 
Of critters can't be kicked to toe the 

chalk * 
Your "You'll see nex* time!" an' 

** Look out bumby ! " 
'Most oilers ends in ea'tin' umble-pie. 
'T wun't iMy to scringe to England : 

will it ]>ay 
To fear that meaner bully, old "They '11 

8ay"r 
Suppose they du say : words are dreffle 

bores, 
But they ain't quite so bad ez seventy- 
fours. 
Wut England wants u jest a wedge to 

fit 
"Where it *I1 help to widen out our split : 
She *» found her wedge, an' 't ain't for 

us to come 
An* lend the beetle thet's to drive it 

home. 
For gi*owed-np folks like us *t would be 

a Hoandle, 
When we git saraed, to fly right off the 

handle. 
England ain't* all bad, coz she thinks 

us blind : 
£f she can't change her skin, she can 

her mind ; 
An' we shall see her change it double- 
quick, 
Soon ez we 've proved thet we 're a-goin* 

to lick. 
She an' Coluniby 's gut to be fns' friends : 
For the world prospere by their privit 

ends : 
'T would put the clock back all o* fifty 

yearH 
£f tliey should fall together by the ears. 



THE BRIDGE. 

I 'gree to thet ; she 's nigh us to wut 

France is ; 
Rut then she '11 hev to make the fust 

advances ; 
We 've gut pride, tu, an* gut it by good 

rights. 
An' ketch me stoopin' to pick up the 

mites 
O' condescension she '11 be lettin' fall 
When she finds ont we ain't dead arter 

all! 
1 tell ye wut, it takes more 'n one good 

week 
Afore my nose foigits it 's bed a tweak. 

THE HONIME^-T. 

She '11 come out right bumby, thet 1 '11 

engage, • 

Soon ez sFke gits to seein' we 're of age ; 
This talkin' down o' hers ain't wutii 

a fuss ; 
It 's nat'ral ez nut likin' 't is to us ; 
Ef we 're agoin' to prove we be growed- 

up, 
'T wuut be by barkin* like a tarrier jwp, 
But tumin' to an' uiakiu* things ez 

good 
Ez wut we 're oilers bniggiu* that we 

could ; 
We 're bound to be good friends, an* so 

we 'd oughto, 
in spite of all the fools both sides the 

water. 

THE BRIDGE. 

I b'lieve thet 's so ; but hearken in your 

ear, — 
I *m older 'n you, — Peace wun't keep 

house with Fear : 
Ef you want peace, the thing you 've 

ffut to du 
Is jcs to show you 're up to fightin', tu. 
/ recoil e<tt how sailors' rights was won, 
Yard locked in yard, hot gun-lip kis^du* 

gun: 
Why, afore thet, John Bull sot up tliet 

he 
Hed gut a kind o' mortgage on the sea ; 
You 'd thought he held by Gnin*ther 

Adam's will. 
An* ef yon knuckle down, he '11 think 

so stilL 
Better thet all our ships an' all their 

crews 
Should sink to rot in ooean*8 dreamlea 

ooze, 






.1 



THE BI610W PAPERS. 



249 



Ole Uncle S. sez he, "I gne8& 

T t— »♦ V» 



I on'y guess, 
bet ef \^ittel 



sez he, 
" Thet ef \^attel on his toes fell, 
•T wonld kind o* rile J. B., 
£z wal ez you an' me ! " 

Who made the law thet hurts, John, 

Meads I win, — ditto tails ? 
** J. B," was on his shirts, John, 
Onless my memory fails, 

Ole Uncle S. sp-z he, " I guess 
(I 'm good at thet)," sez he, 
"Thet sauce for goose ain*t Jest the 
juice 
For ganders with J. B., 
No more 'n with you or me I 



I** 



When your rights was our wrongs, 
John, 
Ton did n't stop for fuss, — 
Britanny's trident prongs, John, 
Was good 'nough law for us. 
Ole Uncle S. sez he, "I guess, 
Though phvsic 's good,'* sez he, 
** It does n't foller thet he can swaller 
Prescriptions signed V. B.,* 
Pat up by you an' me 1 " 

We own the ocean, tu, John : 

You mus" n' take it hard, 
£f we can't think with you, John. 

It 's jest your own back-yard. 
Ole Uncle S. sez he, "I guess, 

£f thet 's his claim,' sez he, 
'* The fencin'-stuff '11 cost enough 
To bust up friend J. B., 
£z wal ez you an' me ! " 

Why talk so dreffle big, John, 

Of honor when it meant 
Yon did n't care a fig, John, 
But jest for ten per cent f 
Ole Uncle S. sez he, *' I guess 
He 's like the rest," sez he : 
" When all is done, it *s number one 
Tliet 's nearest to J. B., 
£z wal ez t' you an' me I " 

We give the critters bac'ic, John, 

Cos Abram thought 't was right ; 
It wam't your bullyin' clack, John, 
Ppovokin' us to light. 

Ole Uncle S. sez he, "I guess 
We *ve a hai-d row," sez he, 
" To hoe jest now ; but thet somehow, 
May happen to J. B., 
£z wal ez you an' me ! " 



We ain't so weak an' poor, John, 

"With twenty million people, 
An' close to every door, John, 
A school-house an' a steeple. 
Ole Uncle S. sez he, "1 guess, 
It is a fact," sez he, 
" The surest plan to make a Man 
Is, think him so, J. B., 
£z much ez you or me !" 

Our folks believe in Law, John ; 

An* it 's for her sake, now, 
They 've left the axe an' saw, John, 
The anvil an' the plough. 

Ole Uncle S. sez he, "I euess, 
Ef *t wamt for law," sez ne, 
'* There 'd be one shindy fi-oni here to 
Indy; 
An' thet don't suit J. B. 
(When 't ain't 'twixt you an' me 1 ) " 

We know we 've got a cause, John, 

Thet 's honest, just, an' true ; 
We thought 't would win applause, John, 
£f nowneres else, from you. 
Ole Uncle S. sez he, *M guess 
His love of right," sez he, 
" Hangs by a rotten fibre o' cotton : 
There 's uatur' in J. B., 
£z wal ez you an' me ! " 

The South says, *' Poor folks dovmt'' 
John, 
An* ^*All men up I " say we, — 
White, yaller, black, an' brown, John : 
Now which is your idee ? 
Ole Uncle S. sez he, "I ffuess, 
John preaches wal," sez he ; 
" But, sermon thru, an' come to <fu, 
Why, there 's the old J.B, 
A crowdin' you an* me t " 

Shall it he love, or hate, John I 

It *s you thet 's to decide ; 
Ain 't y(mr bonds held by Fate, John, 
Like all the world's beside T 
Ole Uncle S. sez he, "I guess 
Wise men foi^ve," sez he, 
** But not forget ; an' some time yet 
Thet truUi may strike J. B., 
Ez wal ez you an' me ! " 

God means to make this land, John, 

Clear thru, from sea to sea. 
Believe an' understand, John, 

The vyuJih o' bein' free. 



254 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



Miss S. (her maiden name wnz Higgs, o* 

the fus* fem'ly here) 
On her Ma's side 's all Juggemot, on 

Pa's all Cavileer, 
An' sence I We merried into her an' 

stept into her shoes. 
It ain't more'n nateral thet I should 

modderfy my views : 
I 'ye ben a-readin' in Debow ontil I 'ye 

fairly gut 
So 'nlightened thet I 'd full ez liyes 

ha ben a Dook ez nut ; 
An' when we've laid ye all out stiff, an' 

Jeff hez gut his crown, 
An' comes to pick his nobles out, touH*t 

this child be in town ! 
We'll hey an Age o' Chivverliy sur- 

passin' Mister Burke's, 
Where every fem'ly is fus' -best an' nary 

white man works : 
Our system 's sech, the thing '11 root ez 

easy ez a tater ; 
Tot while your lords in fnrrin narts 

ain't noways marked by natnr , 

Nor sot apart from ornery folks in fea- 
ture nor in figgere, 

£f oum'll keep their faces washed, you'll 
know 'em from their niggere. 

Ain't sech things wuth secedin' for, an' 

gittin' red o' you 
Thet waller in your low idees, an' will 

till all is blue 7 
Fact is, we air a diffrent race, an' I, 

for one, don't see, 
Sech havin' oilers ben the case, how 

w' ever did agree. 

It 's sunthin' thet vou lab'rin'-folks up 

North hed ough' to think on, 
Thet Higgses can't bemean themselves 

to rulin' by a Lincoln, — 
Thet men, (an' guv'nors, tu,) thet hez 

sech Nonnal names ez Pickens, 
Accustomed to no kin' o' work, 'thont 

't is to givin' lick ins, 
Can't masure votes with folks thet get 

their livins from their farms. 
An' nrob'ly think thet Law 's ez good ez 

nevin coats o' arms. 
Sence I 've ben here, I 've hired a chap 

to look about for me 
To git me a transplantable an' thrifty 

fem'ly-tree. 
An' he tefls me the Sawins is ez much 

o' Normal blood 
Ez Pickens an' the. rest on 'em, an' older 

'n Noah's flood. | 



Your Normal schools wun't turn ye 

into Normals, for it 'a clear, 
Ef eddykatin' done the thing, they 'd 

be some skurcer here. 
Pickenses, Roggses, Pettuses, Magof* 

fins, Letchers, Polks, — 
Where can you scare up names like 

them among your mudsill folks ? 
Ther's nothin' to compare with em', 

you *d fin', ef you should glance. 
Among the tip-top femerlies in Englan*, 

nor in France : 
I 've hcam from 'sponsible men whose 

word wuz full ez good 's tlieir note, 
Men thet can nm their face for drinks, 

an' keep a Sunday coat, 
That they wuz all on 'em come down, 

an' come down pooty fur. 
From folks thet, 'thout their crowns woz 

on, ou* doors would n' never stir, 
Nor thet ther' wam't a Southun roan 

but wut wuz primyfasky 
0' the bes' blood in Europe, yis, an' 

Afriky an' Ashy : 
Sech bein' the case, is 't likely we should 

bend like cotton wickin , 
Or set down under anythin' so low-lived 

ez a lickin' T 
More 'n this, — hain't we the literatoor 

an scienoe, tu, by gorry ? 
Hain't we them intellectle twins, them 

giants, Simms an' Maury, 
Each with full twice the ushle brains, 

like nothin' thet I know, 
'thout 't wuz a double-headed calf I see 

once to a show 7 

For all thet, I wam't jest at fust in fkvor i 

o' secedin' ; 
I wuz for layin' low a spell to find out 

where t wuz leadin , 
For hevin' South-Oarliny try her hand 

at sepritnationin'. 
She takin resks an' findin' funds, an' 

we co-opcrationin', — 
I mean a kin' o' hangin' roun* an' set- 
tin' on the fence. 
Till Prov'dunce pinted how to jump sn* 

save the most expense ; 
I recollected thet 'ere mine o* lead to 

Shiraz Ontre 
Thet bust up Jabez Pettibone, an' didn't 

want to ventur' 
'Fore I wuz sartin wut oome out ud pay 

for wut went in, 
For swappin' silver off for lead ain't the 

sure way to win ; 



L-. 



.„J 



THE BIGLOW PAPER& 



255 



(An*, fact, it doo§ look now ez Uiongh — 

but folks mnst live an' larn — 
We should git lead, an* more 'n we 

want, out o' the Old Consarn ; 
But when I see a man so ¥rise an' honest 

ez Buchanan 
! A-lettin' us hey all the forts an' all the 

arms an' cannon, 
Admittin' we wuz nat'lly right an' yon 

wuz nat'llr wrong, 
Cos you wuz lab'rin'-folks an' we wuz 

wut they call bong-Umg, 
An' coz there wam't no fight in ye 

more 'n in a mashed potater. 
While two o* tu can't skurcely meet but 

wut we fight by natnr', 
An' th' ain't a bar-room here would pay 

for openin' on 't a night, 
Without it gir the priverlege o' bein' 

shot at sight. 
Which proyes we 're Natur's noblemen, 

^-itn whom it don't surprise 
The British aristoxy shoulu feel boun* 
I to ^m]Mthize, — 

Seein' all this, an' seein*, tu, the thing 

wuz strikin' roots 
While Uncle Sam sot still in hopes thet 

some one 'd bring his boots, 
I thouffht th' ole Union's hoops wuz off, 

an let myself be sucked m 
To rise a peg an' jine the crowd thet 

went ror reconstructin', — 
Thet is to hey the {Mtrdnership under 

th' ole name continner 
Jest ez it wuz, we drorrin' pay, you 

findin' bone an' sinner, — 
On'y to put it in the bond, an' enter 't 

in the journals, 
Thet you 're the nat'ral rank an' file, 

an' we the nat'ral kumels. 

Kow this I thought a fees'ble plan, thet 

'ud work smooth ez grease, 
Suitin' the Nineteenth Century an' 

Upper Ten idees. 
An' there I meant to stick, an' so did 

most o' th' leaders, tu, 
Coz we all thought the chance wuz good 

o' nuttin' on it thru ; 
Bnt Jen he hit upon a way o' helpin* on 

us forrard 
By bein' unannermous, — a trick you 

ain't quite up to, Norrard. 
A Baldin hain't no more 'f a chance 

with them new apple-corers 
Than folks's oppersition yiews aginst 

the Ringtail Roarers ; 



They '11 take 'em out on him 'bout east, 

— one canter on a rail 
Makes a man feel unannermous ez Jonah 

in the whale ; 
Or ef he's a slow-moulded cuss thet 

can't seem quite t' 'gree. 
He gits the noose by tellergraph upon 

the ni||;hes' tree : 
Their mission-work with Afrikins hez 

put 'em up, thet 's sartin. 
To all the mos' across-lot ways o* 

preachin' an' convartin' ; 
I 'U bet my hat th' ain't nary priest» 

nor all on em together, 
Thet cairs conyiction to the min' like 

Reyeren' Taranfeather ; 
Why, he sot up with me one night, an' 

labored to sech purpose, 
Thet (ez an owl bv daylight 'mongst a 

flock o' teazin chirpers 
Sees clearer 'n mud the wickedness o* 

eatin' little birds) 
I see my error an' agreed to shen it 

arterwurds ; 
An' I should say, (to jedge our folks by 

facs in my possession,) 
Thet three 's Unannermous where one 's 

a 'Riginal Secession ; 
So it 's a thing you fellers North may 

safely bet vour chink on, 
Thet we re all water-proofnl agin th' 

usurpin' reign o' Lincoln. 

Jeff's some. He's gut another plan 

thet hez pertic'lar merits. 
In givin' things a cheerfle look an' stiff- 

nin' loose-hunff sperits ; 
For while your million papers, wut with 

lyin' an' discussin', 
Keep folks's tempers all on eend a-fum- 

in' an a-fussin', 
A-wondrin' this an' guessin' thet, an' 

dreadin' every night 
The breechin' o' the Univarse *ll break 

afore it 's light. 
Our papers don't purtend to print on'y 

wut Guy'ment choose, 
An' thet insures us all to git the very 

best o' noose : 
Jeff hez it of all sorts an' kines, an' 

sarves it out ez wanted, 
So 's 't eyeiy man gits wut he likes an' 

nobody ain't scanted ; 
Sometimes it 's vict'ries (they 're 'bout 

all ther' is that 's cheap down here,) 
Sometimes it 's France an England on 

the jump to interfere* 



256 



THE BIGLOW PAPEKS. 



Fact is, the leas the people know o* wnt 

ther' is aHloin', 
The hendier 't is for Gn^'ment, sence it 

henders trouble brewin' ; 
An* nooze is like a shinplaster, — it *8 

good, ef you believe it, 
Or« wut 's all same, the other man thet 'a 

goiu' to receive it : * 
£f yon *ve a son in th* army, wy, it 's 

comfortin' to hear 
He *11 hev no gretter resk to run than 

seein' th' in'my's rear, 
Coz, ef an F. F. looks at 'em, they 

oilers break an' nin. 
Or wilt right down ez debtors will thet 

stumble on a dun, 
(An* this, ef an'thin*, nroves the wath o' 

proper fem'ly priae, 
Fer seen mean shucks ez creditors are 

all on Lincoln's side) ; 
£f 1 hev scrip thet wun't go off no 

more 'n a oelgin rifle. 
An' read thet it 's at par on 'Change, it 

makes me feel deli'fle ; 
It *8 cheerin', tn, where every man mns' 

fortify his bed. 
To hear thet Freedom 's the one thing 

our darkies mos'ly dread. 
An' thet expemnce, time'n' agin, to 

Dixie's Land hez shown 
Ther' 's nothiu' like a powder-cask fer a 

stiddy comer-stone ; 
Ain't it ez good ez nuts, when salt is 

sellin' by tlie ounce 
For its own weight in Treash'ry-bons, 

(ef bought in small amounts,) 
When even whiskey's gittin' skurce 

an' sugar can't be found. 
To know thet all the ellerments o' lux- 
ury abound ? 
An' don't it glorify sal'-pork, to come to 

understand 
It 's wut the Richmon' editors call fat- 
ness o' the land ! 
Nex' thing to knowin' you 're well off 

is nut to know when y' ain't ; 
An* ef Jeff says all 's goin' wal, who '11 

ventur' t' say it ain't ? 

This cairn the Constitooshun roun* ez 

Jeff doos in his hat 
Is hendier a dreffle sight, an' comes 

more kin' o' pat 
I tell ye wut, my judgment is you 're 

pooty sure to fail, 
Ez long 'z the head keeps tumin' back 

for counsel to the tail : 



Th' advantiges of our consam for bein 

prompt air gret. 
While, 'long o Congress, you can't 

strike, 'i you git an iron het ; 
They bother roun' withai^gooin', an' v«- 

r'ous sorts o' foolin'. 
To make sure ef it 's leg'lly het, an' all 

the while it 's coolin'. 
So 's 't when you come to strike, it ain't 

no gret to wish ye j'y on. 
An' hurts the hammer 'z much or more 

ez wut it doos the iron, 
Jeff don't allow no jawin' -sprees for three 

months at a stretch, 
Knowin' the ears long speeches suits air 

mostly made to metch ; 
He jes' ropes in your tonguey chaps an' 

reg'lar ten-inch bores 
An' lets 'em play at Congress, ef they 11 

du it with closed doora ; 
So they ain't no more bothersome than 

ef we' d took an' sunk 'em. 
An' yit enj'y th' exclusive right to one 

another's Buncombe 
'thout doin' nobody no hurt, an' *thoat 

its costin' nothin,' 
Their pay bein' jes' Confedrit funds, 

they findin' keep an* clothin' ; 
They taste the sweets o' public life, an' 

plan their little jobs, 
An' suck the Treaah'ry, (no gret harm, 

for it's ez dry ez cobs,) 

An' go thru all the motions jest ez safe 

ez in a prison, 
An' hev their business to themselves, 

while Buregard hez hisn : 
Ez long'z he gives the Hessians fits, 

committees can't make bother 

'bout whether 't 's done th*? legle way or 
whether 't 's done the t'other. 

An' / tell yow you 've gut to lam thet 

War ain't one long teeter 
Betwixt / loan* to an' T wuvkt du^ de- 

batin' like a skeetur 
Afore he liffhts, — all is, to give the 

other siae a milliii'. 
An' arter thet 's done, th' ain't no resk 

but wut the lor *11 be willin' ; 
No nietter wut the guv'ment is, ez nigh 

ez I can hit it, 
A lick in' 's constitooshunal, pervidin' 

We don't git it 
Jeff don't Stan' dilly-dall}'in', afore he 

takes a fort, 
(With no one in,) to git the leave o' the 

nex' Soopreme Court, 



r 



I . - " • 1 



THE MGLOW PAPERS. 



257 



Kor cloti't wfint forty^'leTen weeks o* 

jawin' ftn' expoundin*, 
To prove a nigger hez a right to save 

him, ef he s drowndin' ; 
Whereas ole Abram 'd fl^uk afore he ''d 

let a darkle boost him, 
£f Taney shouldn't come along an' 

hedn*t interdooced him. 
It ain't yonr twenty millions thet*!! 

ever block Jeff's gune. 
Bat one Jf an thet wun^t let 'em jog jesrt 

ez he 's takin' aim : 
Tour numbers they may strengd:ien ye 

or weaken ye, ez 't heppens 
They 're willin' to be helpui' hands or 

wnss'n-nothin' cap'ns. 

I 'ye chose my side, an' 't ain't no odds 

ef I wuz drawed with magnets. 
Or ef I thoueht it prudenter to jine the 

nines' bagnets ; 
I 're made my ch'ice, an* dphered ont» 

from all I see an' heanl» 
Th' ole Constitooshun nevco* 'd |^t her 

decks for action cleared. 
Long 'z yon elect for Congressmen poor 

shotes thet want to go 
Coz they can't seem to git their grab no 

otherways than so, 
An' let your bes' men stay to home ooz 

they wnn't show ez talkers. 
Nor canH be hired to fool ye an' sof- 

soap ye at a caucus, — 
Long 'z ye set by Rotashun more 'n ye 

do iff folks's merits, 
£z though experunce thrir by change o' 

sile, like com an' kerrits, -— 
Long *z you allow a critter^s "claims" 

coz, spite o' shoves an' tippins. 
He 's kei)' his private pan jest where 't 

would ketch mos' public drippins', — 
Long 'z A. '11 turn tn an' grin' B.'s exe, 

ef B. '11 help him grin' hisn, 
(An* thet 's thednain idee by which your 

leadin* men hev risen,) — 
Long 'z you let ary exe be grDun'j*]ess 

t is to cut the weasan' 
O' sneaks thet dunno till they 're told 

wut is an' wut ain't Treason, — 
Long 'z ye give out commissions to a lot 

o' pcddlin* drones 
Thet trade in whiskey with their men 

an' skin 'em to their bones, — 
Long'z ye sift out "safe" canderdates 

thet no one ain't afeard on 
Coz they 're so thund'rin' eminent for 

beia' never heanl on, 

17 



An' hain't no record, ez it 's called, for 

folks to pick a hole in, 
£z ef it hurt a man to hev a body with 

a soul in. 
An' it wuz ostentashun tp be showin' 

on *t about. 
When, half his feller-citizens contrive to 

du without, ~«- 
Long 'z yon aupiiose your votes can turn 

oiled kebbiige into brain, 
An* ary man thet *s poplar 's fit to drive 

a lightnin' -train,— 
Long'z you bdieve democracy means 

I'm ez good ez you be^ 
An' that a feller from the ranks can't be 

a knave or booby, — - 
Long 'z Congress seems purvided* like 

yer street-cars an' yer 'busse^ 
With oUere room for jes' one more o' 

your spUed-in-bakm' cusses, 
Dough *thout the emptins of a soul, an' 

yit with means about 'em 
(like essence-peddlers*) thet '11 make 

folks long to be without 'em, 
Jest heavy 'noiigh to turn a scale thet 's 

doubtfle the wrong way, 
An* make their nat'ral arsenal o' bein' 

nasty pay, — 
Ijong 'z them things last, (an' / don't 

see no gret signs of improvin',) 
I sha' n't up stakes, not hardly yit, nor 't 

would n't pay for movin' ; 
For, 'fore you uck us, it '11 be the 

long'st day ever you see. 
YourUy <ez I 'xpec' to be nex' spring,) 
B., Markjss o' Bio Boost. 



No. IV. 



A MESSAGE OF JEFF DAVIS IN 
SECRET SESSION. 

ConJeetwraUy reported &y H. Biglow. 

TO THE EDITORS OF THB ATLANTIC 
MOKTHLT. 

Jaalax, 10th March, 1862. 

Gentlembk, — My leisure has been so 
entirely occupied with the hitherto fniit- 
less endeavour to decypher tlie Rnnick 
inscription whose fortunate discovery I 
mentioned in my last communication, that 
I have not found time to discuss, as I had 

* A niNtic enpheinlsm for the American va« 
riviy of Uvi MephUU H. W. 



258 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



intended, the sreat problem of what we 
are to ao with slavery, — a topick on 
which the publick mind in this place is at 
present more than ever asitated. What 
my wishes and hopes are 1 need not say, 
hut for safe conclusions I do not conceive 
tliat we are yet in possession of facts 
enouffh on which to oottom them with 
certainty. Acknowledging the hand of 
Providence,^ as I do, in all events. I am 
sometimes indineil to think that tney are 
wiser than we, and am willing to wait till 
we have made this continent once more a 
place where freemen can live in security 
and honour, before assuming any further 
responsibility. This is the view taken by 
my neighbour Habakkuk Sloansure, Esq., 
the president of our bank, whose opinion 
in tne practical affairs or life has great 
weight with me, as I have generallv found 
it to be justified bv the event, and whoee 
counsel, had 1 followed it, would have 
saved me from an unfortunate investment 
of a considerable part of the painful 
economies of half a century in the North- 
west-Passage Tunnel. After a somewhat 
animated oisciission with this gentleman, 
a few days since, I expanded, on the audi 
alteram partem principle, something which 
he happened to say byway of illustration, 
into the following fable. 

FESTINA LENTE. 

Once on a time there was a pool 
Fringed sll about with flag-leaves cool 
And spotted with cow-llliee garish. 
Of ttogH and pouts the ancient parish. 
Alders the creaking redwings Hiiik on. 
Tussocks that h mse blithe Bob o' Lincoln 
Hedged round the unassailerl seolnsion, 
"Where muskrats piled their cells CarihuslBn ; 
And many a moss-embroidered log. 
The watering-place of summer f^, 
Slept and decayed with patient skUl, 
As watering-places sometimes wilL 

Now in this Abbey of Theleme, 

Which realized the (kirest dream 

That ever dozing bull-ftx>g had, 

Sunned on s half-sunk lily-pad, 

There mse a party with a mission 

To mend the iwlliwogs* condition. 

Who notified the selectmen 

To call a meeting there and thea 

"Some kind of steps,** they said, "are needed ; 

They don't come on so fast as we did : 

Let 's dock their talis ; if that don't make 'em 

FrogH by brevet, the Old One take 'em 1 

That boy, that came the other day 

To dig some flag-root down this way, 

Hi« Jack-knife left, and 't is a sign 

That Heaven approves of our design : 

T were wicked not to urge the step on, 

When Providence has sent the weapon.** 

Old croakers, deacons of the mire. 
That led the deep batrachian choir. 



Uk ! Uk f Caronk I with bass that might 
Have left Lablache's out of sight. 
Shook nobby heads, and said, " No go I 
You 'd better let 'em try to grow : • 
Old Doctor Time is slow, but still 
He does know how to make a pilL" 

Bat vain was sll their hoanest baas. 
Their old experience out of place. 
And spite 01 croaking and entreating. 
The vote was carried in marah-meetuig; 

** Lord knows," protest the polliwoga, 
" We 're anxious to be grown-up fhigB : 
But do not undertake the work 
Of Nature till she prove a shiric ; 
"T is not by Jumps that she advances. 
But wins her way by circumstances : 
Pray, wait awhile, nntil you know 
We Ye so contrived as not to grow ; 
Let Nature take her own direction. 
And she 11 absorb our imperfection ; 
YcH might nt like 'em to appear with» 
But we must have the things to steer with." 

" No," piped the party of reform. 
" All great results are ta'en by storm : 
Fate holds her best gifts till we show 
We 've strength to make her let them go : 
The Providence that works in history, 
And seems to some folks snch a mysieiy. 
Does not creep slowly on incog.. 
But moves by Jumps, a mlahty fh>g : 
No more n^ect the Age's chrism. 
Tour queues are an anachronism : 
No more the Future's {Momise mock. 
But lay your tails npon the block. 
Thankful tliat we the means have voted 
To have you thus to fhigs promoted." 

The thing was done, the tails were cropped. 

And home each philotadpole hopped. 

In fkith rewarded to exult. 

And wait the beautinil result 

Too soon it came ; our pool, so long 

The theme of patriot bull-flrog's song. 

Next day waa reeking, fit to smother. 

With heads and tails that missed each other, — 

Here snoutless tails, there tailless snouts : 

The only gainers were the pouts. 

MOBAL. 

From lower to the higher next. 
Not to the top. is Nature's text ; 
And embnro Good, to reachftill statoie. 
Absorbs the Evil in its nato^ 

I think that nothing will ever sive per- 
manent peace and security to this conti- 
nent but the extirpation of Slavery there- 
from, and that the occasion is nigh ; but I 
would do nothing hastily or nndictivdv, 
nor presume to jog the elbow of Provi- 
dence. No denierate measures for me till 
we are sure that all others are hopeless, — 
ftectere H nequeo superos, Aehenmta mo- 
vebo. To make Emancipation a reform 
instead of a revolution is worth a little 

Satience, that we may hare the Bonier 
tates firsti and then the jion-aUvefaolders 



THE BIOLOW PAPEK8. 



259 



of the Cotton States, with us in princi- 
ple,— a consuniroation that seems to be 
nearer than many imagine. Fiat juatitia, 
mat ccdum, is not to oe taken in a literal 
sense b^- statesmen, whose problem is to 
set justice done with as little jar as possi- 
ble to existing order, which has at least so 
mncb of heaven in it that it is not chaos. 
Oar first duty toward our enslaved brother 
is to educate him, whether he be white or 
black. The first need of the free black is 
to elevate himself according to the stand- 
ard of this material generation. So soon 
as the Ethiopian goes in his chariot, he 
will find not only Apostles, bnt Chief 
Priests and Scribes and Pharisees willing 
to ride with him. 

Nil habet iafelix panpertas dnrins in se 
Quam qaod ridicules homines facil 

{ I rejoice in the President's late Message, 
J which at last proclaims the Government 
on the side of freedom, justice, and sound 
policy. 

As I write, comes the news of our disas- 
ter at Hampton Roads. I do not under- 
stand the supineness which, after fair 
I warning leaves wood to an unequal con- 
I flict witn iron. It is not enough merelv 
to have the right on our side, if we stick 
to the old flint-lock of trailition. I have 
observed in my parochial experience {hattd 
ignanu malt) that the Devil is prompt to 
adopt the latest inventions of destructive 
warfare, and may thus take even such a 
three-decker as Bishop Butler at an ad- 
vantage. It is curious, that, as gunpowder 
made armour useless on shore, so armour 
is having ita revense by bafiiing its old 
enemy at sea, — ana that, while gunpow- 
der robbed land warfare of nearly an its 
picturesqueness to give even greater state- 
liness and sublimity to a sea-nght, armour 
bids fair to degrade the latter into a 
squabble between two iron-shelled turtles. 
Yours, with esteem and respect, 

Homer Wilbur, A. M. 

P. S. — I had wellniffh foiigotten to say 
that the object of this letter is to enclose 
a communication from the gifted pen of 
Ur. Biglow. 



I SENT you a messige, iny friens, t' other 

day, 
To tell yon I 'd nothin' pertickler to 

say: 

't wuz the day onr new nation gut kin* 

o' stillborn, 



So *t wuz my pleasant dooty t* acknowl- 
edge the com, 
An* I see clearly then, ef I did n*t be- 
fore, 
Thet the augur in inauguration means 

bore. \ 
I need n't tell you thet my messige wuz 

written 
To diffuse correc' notions in France an' 

Gret Britten, { 

An' a^n to impress on the poppylar 

mind 
The comfort an* wisdom o' goin* it ' 

blind, — 
To say thet I did n't abate not a hooter 
0' my faith in a happy an* glorious 

futur', 
£z rich in each soehle an' p'litickle 

bleasin' 
£z them thet we now bed the joy o' 

possessin'. 
With a people united, an* longin' to 

die 
For wut toe call their country, withont 

askin* why, 
An' all the gret things we concluded to 

slope for 
£z mucn within reach now ez ever — to 

hope for. 
We *ve gut all the ellerments, this very 

hour, 
Thet make up a fus' -class, self-govem- 

in' power: 
We 've a war, an' a debt, an' a flag j an* 

ef this 
Ain't to be inderpendunt, why, wut on 

airth b if 
An* nothin' now henders our takin' our 

station 
Ez the freest, enlightenedest, civerlized 

nation. 
Built up on our bran'-new politickle 

thesis 
Thet a GoVment's fust right is to tum- 
ble to pieces, — 
I say nothin' henders our takin' our 

place 
Ez the very fus'-best o' the whole human 

race, 
A spittin' tobacker ez proud ez you 

please 
On Victory's bes' carpets, or loafin' at 

ease 
In the Toorries front-parlor, discussin' 

affairs 
With our heels on the backs o' Napo- 
leon's new chairs, 



I 260 



THE BiGLOW PAPERS. 



An* princes a-mixin' ear cocktails an' 

slings, — 
£zcep\ wal, exoep* jest % tctj few 

things, 
Sech ez navies an' amies an* wherewith 

to pay, 
An' gittin' our sogen to ran t' other 

way, 
An' not be too owr-perticklCT in tryin' 
To hunt up the yery las' ditches to die 

in. 

Ther' are critters so hase thet they want 

it explained 
Jes' ^mt is the totle amount thet we 'ye 

gained, 
Ez ef we could maysnre stnpenjious 

events 
By the low Yankee stan'ard o' dollars 

an' cents : 
Tliey seem to forgit, thet, aenee lart year 

revolved, 
We 've succeeded in gittin' seceshed an' 

dissolved. 
An' thet no one can't hope to git thm 

dtssolootion 
'thout some kin' o' strain on the best 

Constitootion. 
Who asks for a prospec' more ilettrin' 

an' bright, 
When from here clean to Texas it 's all 

one free fight f 
Hain*t we rescued from Seward the gret 

leadin' featnrs 
Thet makes it wuth while to be reasonin' 

creators? 
Hain't we saved Habos GopperB, im- 
proved it in fact. 
By suspendin' the Unionists ''atid o' the 

Act? 
Ain't the laws free to all ? Where on 

airth else d' ye see 
Every freeman improviu' his own rope 

an' tree ? 
Ain't our piety sech (in oar speeches an' 

messi^) 
Ez t' astonish ourselves in the hes'-com- 

posed pessi^^es. 
An' to make folks thet knowed us in 

th' ole state o' things 
Think convarsion ez easy es drinkin' 

gin-slings f 

It 's ne'ssary to take a good confident 

tone 
With the public ; bat here, jest amongst 

us, I own 



Things look hlacker *n thander. Hie/ 

's no nse denyin' 
We *re clean out o' money, an' 'most out 

o' lyin' ; 
Two things a yonngnation can't mennage 

without, 
Ef ahe wants to look wal stt her fnst 

coiDtn' ont ; 
For the fust supplies physiekle strength, 

while the second 
Oiyes a morril edvantage thet 'a hard to 

be reckoned : 
For this latter 1 'm willin* to da wut I 

can ; 
For the /ormer you 11 hev to eansult on 

a plan, — j 

Thongn oor futt waat (an' this ptnt 1 

w^ant your best views on) 
Is plausible paper to print I. O. U.s on. 
Some gennlemen think it would care all 

our cankers \ 

In the way o* finance, ef we jes' hanged | 

the bankers ; . 

Aa' I own the propoaLs 'ad square with I 

my views, 
Ef their lives wuin't all tiiet we'd left 

'em to lose. 
Some say thet more eonfidenoe might be i 

inspired, 
£f we yoted our cities an' towna to be 

fired, — 
A plan that 'ud suttenly tax oor endur- 
ance, 
Oos 't would be our own billa we should 

git ibr th' inauianoe ; 
Bat cinders, no metier how aacved we ; 

think 'em, i 

Might n't strike fnrrin minds ez good 

sonroes of income, 
Nor the people, perhaps wonld n't like 

the edaw 
0' bein' all tamed into paytriota by 

law. 
Some want we should buy all the cotton 

an' bain it. 
On a pledge, when we 'ye gut thru the i 

war, to return it, — 
Then to take the proceeds an* hold them 

ez security 
For an issue o bonds to be met at ma- 
turity 
With an issue o* notes to be paid in hard | 

cash I 

On the ftt^ Monday foUerin* the 'tamal 

Allsmash : 
This hez a safe air, an', onoe hold o' the 

gold. 



TBE BIGLOW PAPEB3. 



261 



*iid leave our Tile phradeiers out in tbe 

cold, 
An* might temp' Jolin Boll, ef it warn't 

for the dip he 
Once got frora the bank^ o' mj own 

Massissippi. 
Some think we eould make, by airangin' 

the figgers, 
A bendy home-enrrencj ont of our 

niggers; 
Bttt it wnn't da to lean much on ary 

sech staff, 
For they're ^ttin* tn cnrrent a'ready, 

by half. 

One gennleman says, ef we lef our loan 

ont 
Where Floyd conld git hold* on 't he 'd 

take it, no doubt ; 
Bat *t ain't jes' the takin, though 't hez 

a good look. 
We mus' git sunthin' «at en it arter it 'a 

took, 
Ai^ we need now more'n ever, with 

aorrer I own, 
Thet some one another ahonld let na 

a loan, 
Senee a soger wira*t fi^^t, on'y jca' while 

he draws his 
Ptiy down on tbe nai), for the best of all 

causes, 
*llioQt askin' to know wat the qnarrel 'a 

about, — 
An* once come to thet» why, oar game ia 

played out. 
It *8 ez tme ez though I shonld n't never 

hey said it. 
The! a hitch hez took place in oar syitem 

o* credit ; 
I swear it 'a all right in my speechea an' 

messiges. 
Bat ther' 's idees afloat, ez ther' is ahoot 

ae^aiges : 
Folks wnn*t take a bond ez a basis to 

trade on, 
Without nosin* ronnd to find ovt wnt 

it 's made on, 
An' the thought more an' more thru the 

public min' crosses 
Thet oor Treshry hez gut 'moa' too many 

dead bosses. 
Wat 's called credit, yon see, ia some like 

a balloon, 
Thet looks while it 'a up 'most ez ham- 
some 'z a moon, 
B«t once git a leak in 't an* wot looked 

80 grand 



Caves righ' down in a jiflPy ez flat ez your 

hand. 
Now the world ia a dzeffie mean place, 

for our sins. 
Where ther^ olios ia critters about with 

lon^ pins 
A-prickra the babbles we ' ve blowed with 

sech care, 
An' provin' ther* 'a nothin' inside bat 

bad air: 
They 're all Stnart Millses, poor-white 

trash, an' sneaks^ 
Without no more chiwerlry 'n Choctaws 

or Creeks, 
Who thiak a real gennteman's promise 

to pay 
la mcaut to be took in trade's ornery 

way : 
Them fellers sd' I coald n' never agr«*e ; 
They 're the nateral foes o' the Southun 

Idee; 
I 'd gladly take all of our other reeks on 

me 
To be red o* this low-lived politikle 

'eon'my \ 

'Sctw a dastardly notion is gittin' aboat 
Thet our bladder is bust an' the gas 

oorin' oat» 
An' onless we can mennage in some way 

to stop it. 
Why, the thing 's a gone coon, an' we 

might ez wal drop it. 
Brag worka wal at fust^ but it ain't jes' 

the thing 
For a stiddy inves'ment the shiners to 

bring. 
An' votin' we're prosp'rous a hundred 

times over 
Wun't change bein' starved into livin' 

on clover. 
Manassas done sunthin' tow'rds drawin' 

the wool 
O'er the green, antislavery eves o' John 

Bull: 
Oh, vxim*t it a godsend, jes* when sech 

tight fixes 
Wuz crowdin' ua mourners^ to throw 

double-sixes I 
I wnz tempted to think, an' it wuz n't 

no wonder, 
Ther^ wnz reelly a Providence, — over or 

under, — 
When, an packed for Nashville, I fust 

ascertained 
From the papera up North wut a victory 

we 'd gained. 



J 



262 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



't wuz the time for diffnsin' correc' views 

abroad 
Of our union an' strength an' relyin' on 

God; 
An', fact, when I 'd gut thru my fust 

big surprise, 
I much ez half b'lieved in my own tall- 
est lies, 
Au' conveyed the idee thet the whole 

Southun pomierlace 
Wuz Spartans all on the keen jump for 

Thermopperlies, 
Thet set on the Lincolnltes' bombs till 

they bust, 
An' light for the privilege o* dyin' the 

fust ; 
But Roanoke, Bufort, MUlspring, an' the 

rest 
Of our recent stam-foremost successes 

out West, 
Hain't left us a foot for our swellin' to 

stand on, — 
We 've showed too much o' wut Buregard 

calls cUfandoiif 
For all our Thermopperlies (an* it's a 

marcy 
We hain't hed no more) hev ben clean 

vicy-varsy, 
An' wut Spartans wuz lef when the bat- 
tle wuz done 
Wuz them thet wuz too unambitious to 

run. 

Oh. ef we hed on'y jes' eut Reecognition, 

Things now would ha' ben in a different 
position ! 

You d ha' hed all you wanted : the 
paper blockade 

Smashed up into toothpicks; unlim- 
ited trade 

lu the one thing thet 's needfle, till nig- 
gers, 1 swow, 

Hed ben thicker 'n provisional shin- 
plasters now; 

Quinine by the ton 'ginst the shakes 
when they seize ye ; 

Nice pni)er to coin into C. S. A. specie ; 

The voice of the driver 'd be heerd m our 
land, 

Au* the univarse scringe, ef we lifted our 
hand : 

Would n't thet be some like a fulfillin' the 
prophecies. 

With all the fus' fem'lies in all the fast 
offices ? 

't wuz a beautiful dream, an' all sorrer 
is idle, — 



But ef Lincoln tootild ha' hanged Mason 

an' Slidell ! 
For wouldn't the Yankees hev found 

they'd ketched Tartars, 
Ef they'd raised two sech critters as 

them into martyrs? 
Mason wuz F. F. V., though a cheap 

card to win on. 
But t' other was jes' New York trash to I 

be^n on ; { 

They am't o* no good in Eurdpean pel- ! 

lices. 
But think wut a help they *d ha' ben on i 

their gallowses ! 
They 'd hS felt they wuz truly fulfillin* 

their mission. 
An', oh, how dog-cheap we 'd ha' gut 

Reecognition ! 



But somehow another, wutever we 've 

tried. 
Though the the'rv 's fdst-iate, the facs 

wun't coincide : 
Facs are contrarv'z mules, an' ez haid 

in the mouth. 
An' they alius hev showed a mean spite 

to the South. 
Sech bein' the case, we hed best look 

about 
For some kin' o' way to slip our necks 

out : 
Le' 's vote our las* dollar, ef one can be 

found, 
(An', at any rate, votin' it hez a good 

sound,) — 
Le' 's swear thet to arms all our people 

is flyin', 
(The critters can't read, an* wun't know 

how we're lyin',) — 
Thet Toombs is advancin' to sack Cin- 

ciniiater. 
With a rovin' commission to pillage an' 

slahter, — 

Thet we 've throwed to the winds all re- 
gard for wut 's lawfle. 
An' gone in for sunthin' promiscn'sly i 

awfle. 
Ye see, hitherto, it's our own knaves 

an' fools I 

Thet we 've used, (those for whetstones, 

an' t' others ez tools,) 
An' now our las' chance is in puttin* to ' 

test I 

The same kin' o* cattle up North an' out 

West,— 
Your Belmonts, Yallandighams, Woods- 

es, an' sech, 



THE BIGLOW PAPEBS. 



263 



Poor ahotes thet ye couldn't penuade 
xa to tech, 

Not in ornery times, though we 're will- 
in' to feed 'em 

With a nod now an' then, when we hap- 
pen to need *em ; 

Why, for my part, I'd rather shake 
hands with a nigger 

Than with cusses that load an' don't 
darst dror a trigger; 

They *re the wnst wooden nutmegs the 
Yankees produce, 

Shaky every wheres else, an' jes' sound 
on the goose ; 

They ain't wuth a cuss, an' I set noth- 
in' by 'em. 

Bat we 're in sech a fix thet I s'pose we 
mus' try 'em. 

1 — But, Gennlemen, here 's a de- 
spatch jes' come in 

Which shows thet the tide 's begun turn- 
in' agin', — 

Gret Comfedrit success 1 C'lnmbus 
eevacooated ! 

I mns' run down an' hev the thing prop- 
erly stated, 

An' show wut a triumph it is, an' how 
lucky 

To fin'lly git red o' thet cussed Ken- 
tucky, — 

An' how, sence Fort Donelson, winnin' 
the day 

Conaists in triimiphantly gittin' away. 



No. V. 



SPEECH OP HONOURABLE PRE- 
SERVED DOE IN SECRET CAU- 
CUS 

TO THS EDITORS OF THB ATLANTIC 
MONTHLT. 

Jaalam , 12th April, 1862. 

Gentleman, — As I cannot but hope 
that the ultimate, if not speedy, success of 
the national arms is now Rufficiently ascer- 
tained, sure as I am of the righteousness 
of our cause and its consequent claim on 
the blessing of God, (for I would not show 
a faith inferior to that of the Pagan histo- 
rian with his Facile evenit quod Dis cordi 
est,) it seems to me a suitable occasion to 
withdraw our minds a moment from the 
confusing din of battle to objects of peace- 
ful and permanent interest. Let us not 



neglect the monuments of preterite his- 
tory because what shall be history is so 
diligently making under our eyes. Craa 
ingens Uerabimus cnquor; to-morrow will 
be time enough for that stormy sea ; to- 
day let me engage the attention of your 
readers with the Bunick inscription to 
whose fortunate discovery I have hereto- 
fore alluded. Well may we say with the 
poet, MuUa remucuniur qua jam cecidere. 
And I would premise, that^ although I 
can no longer resist the evidence of my 
own senses from the stone before me to 
the ante-Columbian discovery of this con- 
tinent by the Northmen, ffens indytiasima^ 
as they are called in a Pfuermitan inncrip- 
tion, written fortunately in a less debata- 
ble character than that which I am about 
to decipher, yet I would by no means > be 
understood as wishing to vilipend the 
merits of the great Genoese, whose name 
will never be lorgotten so long as the m- 
splring strains of '' Hail Columbia " shall 
continue to be heard. Though he must be 
stripped also of whatever praise may be- 
long to the experiment of the egg, which I 
find proverbially attributed by Castilian 
authors to a certain Juanito or Jack, 
(perhaps an offshoot of our giant-kiUins 
my thus,) his name will still remain one or 
the most illustrious of modem times. But 
the impartial historian owes a duty like- 
wise to obscure merit, and my solicitude 
to render a tardy justice is perhaps quick- 
ened by my havmg known toose who, had 
their own field of labour been less seclucle<l, 
miffht have found a readier acce{)tance 
with the reading pnblick. I could give an 
example, but I forbear : forntan nasirie 
ex oanbus oritur ultor. 

Touchins Runick inscriptions, I find that 
they may be classed under three general 
heads : 1°. Those which are understood 
by the Danish Royal Society of Northern 
Antiquaries, and Professor Rafn, their 
Secretary ; 2*. Those which are compre- 
hensible only by Mr. Raf^ ; and 8°. Those 
which neither the Society, Mr. Rafn, nor 
anybody else can be said in sny definite 
sense to understand, and which accoixi- 
ingly offer peculiar temptations to enucle- 
ating sagacity. These last are naturally 
deemed the most valuable by intelligent 
anti(^uaries, and to this class the stone 
now m my possession fortunately belongs. 
Such give a picturesque variety to ancieut 
events, because susceptible oftentimes of 
as many interpretations as there are indi- 
vidual archaeologists ; and since facts are 
only the pulp in which the Idea or event- 
seed is softly imbedded till it ripen, it is 
of little consequence what colour or fla- 
vour we attribute to them, provided it bo 



R ■■»«■■■■■ a«^ 



264 



THI BIGLOW PAPEBa 



agreeable. AvaiUiw myself of the obQg- 
iDg asslfltanee of Mr. Arphaxad Bowers, 
an higeuions photogrsphick artist, wbose 
hoose-OD^wheels hae now stood for three 
years on oar Meeting-House Qrera, with 
the somewhat contradictory inscription, ~ 
"our inoUo is onward,** — I have sent 
accurate copies of my traaaare to many 
learned men and societies, both native and 
European. I may hereafter eomniunicate 
their different and {me judice) equaHy 
erroneous solutions. I solicit also, Messrs. 
ESititors, your own acceptance of the copy 
herewith enclosed. I neeil only premise 
further, that the sten« itself is a goodly 
block of metamorphick sandstone, and 
that the Runes resemble very nearly the 
omithichnites or fossil bird-tracks of Dr. 
Hitchcock, but with less regularity 09 
apparent design than is displayed by tnose 
remarkable seological monuments. These 
are rather the mm bene jumctantm die^ 
cordia semina reruns Rraolved to leave 
no door open to cavil, I first of all at- 
tempted the elucidation of this remarka- 
ble example of lithick literature by the 
ordinary modes, but with no adequate re- 
turn for my labour. I then considered 
myself amply justified in resorting to that 
heroick treatment the felicity of which, as 
applied by the peat Bentley to Milton, 
had long ago enlisted my admiration. In- 
deed, I had already made up nty mind, 
that, in case ffoorl fortune stiould throw 
any such invaluable record in my way, I 
would proceed with it in the following 
simple and satisftictory method. After a 
cursory examination, nterely sufficing for 
an approximative estimate of its len^h. I 
would write down a hypothetical inscrip- 
tion based upon anteceaent probabilities, 
and then proceed to extract from the char- 
acters engraven on the st4>ne a meaning as 
nearljr as possible conformed to this a 
priori product of my own ingenuity. The 
result more than jnstifieil my hopes, inas- 
much as the two inscriptionA were made 
without any great violence to tally in all 
essential particulars. I then proceeded, 
not without some anxiety, to my seoona 
t<*st, which was, to read the Runick letters 
dligonally, and again with the same suc- 
cess. With an excitement pardonable 
un<ler the circumstances, yet tem))ered 
with thaukrul humility, I now applied my 
last and severest trial, my exptryinent%tm 
cnicis. I turned the stone, now doubly 
precious in my eyes, with scrupulous ex- 
actness upside down. The physical exer- 
tion so far displaced ray spectacles as to 
derange tor a moment the focus of vision. 
I confess that it was with some tremuloiis- 
ness that I readjusted them upon my nose. 



and p rep a red my nrind to bear wfth eata- 
ness any disappointment that might ensue. 
But, O aU>o dies notmuia itaMiiel what 
was my delight to find that the chaaise of 
paeit&oii had effected none io the senae of 
the writing, even by so much as a single 
letter ! I was now, and justly, aa I think, 
satisfied of the oonscientious exactness of 
my interpretation. It is as followa : — 



BJARNA ORIMOLFSSON 
FintT DftAHK CLOUD-BROnUR 

thbough child-op-land-and- 
water: 

that is, drew smoke through a reed stem. 
In other words, we liave here a reconl oC 
the first smoking of the herb NieoUaata 
Tabticum by an European on this conti- 
nent. The probable results of this diKOV- 
ery are so vast as to baffle conjeetuia If 
it be objeeted, that the smoking of a piper 
would hardly justify the setting up of r 
memorial stone, I answer, that even no«f 
the Moquia Indian, ere he talces bis first 
whiff, bows reverently toward the feur 
quarters of the sky in succession, and that 
the loftiest monuments have been reared 
to perpetuate fame, which is the dream of 
the shadow of smoke. Hie Si^Oy it wiU 
be remembered^ leaves this Bianui to » 
fate something like that of Sir Humphrey 
Gilbert, on board a Binking ship in the 
" wormy sea," having generously gi^'en up 
his place in the bmt to a certain Ice- 
lander. It is doubly pleasant, therefore, 
to meet with this proof that the brave 
old man arrived safely in Viuland, awl 
that his declining years were cheered by 
the respectfiU attentiona of the dasky 
denizens of our tlieu nninvadeil forests. 
Most of all was I gratified, however, hi 
thus linking forever the name of my na- 
tive town with one of the roost momentous 
occurrences of modem times. Hitherto 
Jaalam, though in soil, climate, and geo- 
graphical position as highly qualified to 
be the theatre of remarkable historical in- 
cidents as any spot on the earth's surface, 
has been, if I may say it without seeming 
to question the wisdom of Providence, 
almost maUciouady neglected, as it mi^ht 
appear, by occurrences of world-wMe uh 
terest in want of a sitnation. And in 
mattera of this nature it must be confessed 
that adequate events are as necessary as 
the itaiee rnuxr to record them. Jaalam 
stood always modestly ready, bnt ctrcoro- 
stances made no flttW response to her 
generous intentions. Now, however, she 



I 



THE BIGI/)W PAPEH& 



265 



I 



her place on thtf huitoviok roU. 
I have hitherto been a zealoui opponent 
•f the Circean herb, but I shall now re^ 
examfaie the question without biaa 

I am aware that the Rev. Jonas Tutchel, 
in a recent communication to the Bogus 
Four Comers Weekly Meridian, has en* 
deavored to show that this is tne sepul- 
ehnd inscription of Thorwald Erfltsson. 
who. as is well known, was skin in Vinland 
by the natives. But I think he has been 
misled by a preconceived theory, and can- 
Bot but foel that he has thus made an un- 
eracious return for my allowing him to 
inapect the stone with the aid of my own 

f lasses (he having by accident left nis at 
ome) and in mv own study. The heathen 
ancients might have iostmeted this Chris> 
tiau minister in the rites of hospitality ; 
h)Ot much ia to be pardoned to tae sjpirft 
of selMove. He must indeed be ingeaious 
who ean make out the woida hir hvUir 
liom any eharaeters in the inscription in 
question, which, whatever else it may be. 
is certainly not mortuary. And even shoula 
the reverend gentleman succeed in persuad- 
ing some fantastical wits of the soundness 
of his views, I do not see what useful end 
he will have gained. For if the English 
Courts of Law hold the testimony of grave- 
stones from the burial-grownds ef Protes- 
taot disstnter» to be queetionable,. even 
where it is essential in proving a descent, 
I cannot conceive that the epitaphial as- 
sertions of heathens should be esteemed of 
more authority by any man of orthodox 
sentiments. 

At this moment, happening to cast my 
eyes upon the stone, whose characters a 
transverse light from my southern window 
brtngi out with singular distinctness, an- 
other interpretation has occurred to me, 
TOCNDisiBg even more iaterestiiw results. 
I hasten to close my letter in oroer to fol- 
low at once the clew thus providentially 
suggested. 

Iinclose, as usual, a contribution from 
Mr. Biglow, and remain, 

OeuUemen, with esteem and respect. 
Your Olwdient Humble Servant, 

Homer Wilbub, A, M. 



I THAKK ye, my friens, for the warmth 

o' your greetin' : 
Ther' 's few airthly bleaaaa bat wnt *8 

rain an' fleetin' ; 
Boi ef ther^ is ona tliet hftia't «o ciaeks 

an* flaws, 
An* la wQth goin* in for, ii*8 pop'lar 

applause ; 



It sends up the sperits ez Hvely ez . 

rockets. 
An* I feel it — wal, down to the eend o' . 

my pockets. 
Jea* lovin' the people is Canaan in 

view, 
But it 'a Canasn paid quarterly t' her 

*em love you ; 
It 's a blessin thet *8 breakin' out oUna 

mfreah spots; 
It *8 a-follerin' Mosea 'thout loain' the 

fleah-pota* 
But, Gennlemen, 'scuse me, I ain t sech 

a raw cna 
Ez to go luggin* ellerkence into a can- 

cua, — 
Thet is, into one where the call compre- 

henda 
Nut the People in person, hat on'y their 

friends; 
I *m so kin' o* used to eonvincin' the 

maasea 
Of tb' edvautage o' bein' self-governin' 

aases, 
I forgut thet ioe*n all o' the sort thet 

pull wires 
An* arrange for the public their want4 

an* diesiresy 
An* thet wut we hed met for wuz jes' to 

aoree 
Wut the People's opinionsin futnr' should 

be. 

Now, to come to the nub, we 've ben 

all disappinted, 
An* our kaain' idees are a kind o' dia* 

jinted, — 
Though, fur ex the nateral man could 

discern, 
Things ougb* to ha' took most an opper« 

site turn. 
But Tbe'iy is jes' like a tiain on the 

rail, 
Thet, weather or no, puts her thru with* 

out fail. 
While Fac"8 the ole stage thet giU 

sloughed in the ruts, 
An' hez to allow for yoor darned efs an* 

buts. 
An* 80^ nut intendin* no pers'nal reflec- 
tions. 
They don*t^ don't nut alius, thet is, — 

make connections: 
Sometimes, when it really doos seem 

thet they *d oughter 
Combine jest es kindly e^ new rum an' 

water, 



266 



THE BIGLOW FAPSB& 



Both 11 be JMt ez Mt in tfaflir wiyt es a 

biignet» 
El otherwise-minded ez th' eends of a 

magnet, 
An' folks like you *n' me, thet ain't ept 

to l>e sold, 
Qit somehow or 'nother left out in the 

cold. 

I expected 'fore this, 'thont no gret of a 

row, 
Jeff D. would ha' ben where A. Lincoln 

is now. 
With Taney to say 't wnz all legle an' 

fair, 
An* a jury o* Deemocrats ready to 

swear 
Thet the ingin o' State gat throwed into 

the ditch 
By the fault o' the North in mispladn' 

the switch. 
Thinffs wuz ripenin' fust-rate with 

Buchanan to nuss 'em ; 
But the People they would n't be Mex- 
icans, cuss 'em ! 
Ain't the safeguards o' freedom upeot, 'z 

you may say, 
£f the right o' rev'lution is took clean 

away? 
An' doos n't the right primy-fashy in- 
clude 
The beiu' entitled to nut be sub- 
dued? 
The fact is, we 'd gone for the Union so 

strong, 
When Union meant South ollus right 

an' North wrong, 
Thet the people gut fooled into thinkin' 

it might 
Worry on middlin' wal with the North 

in the right. 
We might ha ben now jest ez proep'rous 

ez France, 
Where p'litikle enterprise hez a fair 

chance, 
An' the people is heppy an' proud et this 

hour, 
Long ez they hev the votes, to let Nap 

nev the power ; 
But our folks they went an' belieyed 

wut we 'd told 'em, 
An', the flag once insulted, no mortle 

could hold 'em. 
'T wuz pervokin' jest when we wuz oer- 

t'in to win, — 
An' I, for oney wun't trust the masses 

agin : 



For a people thet knows much ain't fit 

to be free 
In the self-oockin*, back-action style o* 

J. D. 

I can't believe now but wut half on 't is 

liesj 
For who 'd thought the North wuz a- 

goin* to rise. 
Or take the pervokin'est kin' of a 

stump, 
'thout 't wuz sunthin* ez pressin' ez 

Gabr'el's las' trump? 
Or who 'd ha' supposed, arter seek swell 

an' bluster 
'bout the lick-ary-ten-on-ye filters 

they 'd muster, 
Raised by hand on briled lightnin*, ez 

op'lent 'z you please 
In a primitive furrest o' femmily-trees, — 
Who 'd ha' thouffht thet them South- 
oners ever 'ua show 
Stams with pedigrees to 'em like theim 

to the foe. 
Or, when the vamoein' come, ever to 

find 
Nat'ral masters in front an* mean white 

folks behind ? 
By ginger, ef I 'd ha' known half I know 

now, 
When I wuz to Congress, I would n't, I 

swow, 
Hev let 'em cair on so high-minded an' 

sarsy, 
'thout aome show o' wut yon may call 

vicy-varsy. 
To be sure, we wuz under a contrac' jes* 

then 
To be drefSe forbearin' towards Southon 

men; 
We hed to go sheers in preservin' the 

beUance : 
An' ez they seemed to feel they wnz 

wastin their tellents 
'thout some un to kick, 't wam't more 

'n proper, you know. 
Each should funnish his part ; an* senoe 

they found the toe, 
An' we wuz n't cherubs — wal, we found 

the buffer. 
For fear thet the Compromise System 

should suffer. 



I wifn't say the plan hed n't onpleasant 

featurs, — 
For men aro perverse an' onreasonin' 

creaturs, 



J 



THE BIGLOW PAPEBa 



267 



An' foTvit thet in this We t tint Hkdiy 

to neppen 
Their own privit foncy ahoold ollus be 

cappen, — 
But it worked jest ez smooth ez the key 

of a safe. 
An' Uie gret Union bearins played free 

from all chafe. 
They wam't hard to snit, ef they hed 

their own way, 
An* we (thet is, some on us) made the 

thing pay : 
't wuz a fair give-an*-take out of Uncle 

8am*8 heap ; 
£f they took wut wam't theim, wut we 

give come ez cheap ; 
The elect gut the offices down to tide- 
waiter, 
The people took skinnin' ez mild ez a 

tater, 
Seemed to choose who they vranted tu, 

footed the bills. 
An' felt kind o' 'z though they wuz 

havin' their wills, 
Which kep' 'em ez hannless an' cherfle 

ez crickets. 
While all we invested wuz names on the 

tickets : 
Wal, ther* 's nothin', for folks fond o' 

lib'nd consumption 
Free o* charge, like democ'acy tempered 

with gumption ! 

Kow wam't thet a system wuth pains in 

presarvin'. 
Where the people found jinta an' their 

frien's aone the carvin', — 
Where the many done all o' their think- 
in* by proxy. 
An' were proud on 't ez long ez 't wuz 

christened Democ'cy, — 
Where the few let us sap all o' Freedom's 

foundations, 
Ef you call it reformin' with pmdence 

an* patience. 
An' were willin' Jeffs snake-egg should 

hetch with the rest, 
£f you writ " Constitootional " over the 

nest? 
But it 's all out o' kUter, ('t wuz too good 

to last,) 
An* all jes' by J. D.'s perceedin* too 

fast; 
Ef he 'd on'y hung on for a month or 

two more. 
We 'd ha' gut things fixed nicer 'n they 

hed ben before : 



Afore he drawed off an' lef all in confu- 

aion. 
We wuz safely entrenefaed in the ole 

Constitootion, 
With an outlyin', heavy-gun, casemated 

fort 
To rake all aasaflants, — I mean th' S. J. 

Court. 
Now 1 never '11 acknowledge (nut ef you 

should skin me) 
't wuz wise to abandon sech works to the 

in'my. 
An' let him fin' out thet wut scared him 

BO long. 
Our whole line of aigyments, lookin' so 

strong. 
All our £;ripturan' law, every the'ry 

an' fac', 
Wuz (}uaker-guns daubed with Pro* 

slavery black. 
Why, ef the Republicans ever should 

git 

Andy Johnson or some one to lend *em 
the wit 

An' the spunk jes' to mount Constitoo- 
tion an' Court 

With Columbiad guns, your real ekle- 
rights sort. 

Or drill out the spike from the ole Dec- 
laration 

Thet can kerry a solid shot cleam roun' 
creation. 

We 'd better take maysures for shettin' 
up shop. 

An' put on our stock by a vendoo or 
swop. 

But thev wun't never dare tu ; you 'U 

see em in Edom 
'fore they ventur' to go where their doc- 
trines 'ud lead 'em : 
They 've ben takin' our princerples up ez 

we dropt 'em. 
An' thought it wuz terrible 'cute to 

adopt 'em ; 
But they '11 fin' out 'fore long thet their 

hope *s ben deceivin' 'em, 
An' thet princemles ain't o' no good, ef 

you b'lieve in 'em ; 
It makes 'em tu stifi" for a party to 

use. 
Where thev 'd ough' to be easy 'z an ole 

pair o shoes. 
If we say 'n our pletform thet all men 

are brothers. 
We don't mean thet some folks ain't 

more so 'n some others ; 

i 



268 



THE BIGLOW PAPras. 



An* it's wal nadentood tb«t we mak* a 

selection, • 
An' tket brotberhood kin*^ •' rabsides 

arter 'lection. 
The fort tUiw for •omrf poUtimn. to 

lam IS, 
Thet Truth, to dior kindly in all aorti 

o' harness, 
Mna' be keo' in the abstncty — for, come 

to apply it, 
You 're ept to hmt mam Iblka'a nteriits 

by it 
Wal, these 'eie RepoblicsBs (soise on 

'era) ects 
£z thouflh ffinenl mezisM 'nd soit 

Bpesnle facts ; 
An* there 'a where we 'U nidc *em, there 'a 

where they '11 be lost : 
For applyin* yonr princerple 's wut makes 

it cost, 
An* folks don*t want Pourth o' Jnly t' 

interfere 
With the bu8iBe8»>eonsama o' the rest o' 

the year. 
No more 'n they want Sunday to pty an' 

to peek 
Into wut they an doin' tbe nst o* the 

week. 

A ginooine statesman shouU he on his 

guard, 
£f he mu8t her beliefs, nut te b*lieTe *em 

ttt hard; 
For, ez sure ez he does, he li be blartin' 

'em out 
'thout regardin' the natur* o' man more 

'n a spout, 
Nor it don't ask nrach gnaptioa to pick 

out a flaw 
In a party whose kaden are loose in the 

jaw : 
An' so in ear orwn case 1 rentnr' to 

hint 
Thet we 'd better nat air oar pereaedin's 

in print, 
Nor pass reaserloetnns ex long es yenr 

arm 
Thet may, ex things heppen to turn, do 

us harm ; 
For when voa 'rt done all yoor real 

meanin to smother. 
The darned thina 'U up an* mean son- 
thin' or 'nother. 
JefiTson prob'ly meant wal with his "bom 

free an' ekle," 
But it 's turned out a real erookcd stiek 

in the seUe; 



It *s taken ftiH eighty-edd year— doa't 

you see ? — 
From the poplar beUcf to root out thet 

idee. 
An', arter all, snekeis on 't keepbuddin* 

forth 
In the aat'lly enprineipled mind o' the 

North. 
Ne^ never say nethin' without you *r 

compelled tu, 
An* then don't say nothin' thet yon can 

be held tu, 
Nor don't leaTe no fxietion-idees layin* 

loose 
For the ign'Ant to pat to inoend'aiy 

use. 

You know I 'm a feller thet keeps a 

skinned eye 
On the leetle events thet go skuiiTin' 

Coz it *s ofner by them than by gret 

ofiee yon '11 see 
Wut the p'litickle weather is likely to 

be. 
Now I don't think the South 's more 'n 

becnn to be licked. 
But I au think, ez Jeff says^ the wind- 
bag 's cat pricked ; 
It 'U blow for a spell an' keep puffin' an' 

wheesin'. 
The tighter our army an' navy keep 

squeezin', — 
For they ean't help spread-eaglein' long 

'z ther* 's a moutn 
To blow Enfield's Speaker thru lef at 

the South. 
B«t it '•high tiiM for «• to be aettiii' 

our faces 
Towards leeonatmetin* the national ba- 
sis. 
With an eye to bsglnnin' agjn on the 

jolly ticks 
We used to ehalk np 'hind the back-door 

o' politics; 
An' the ftia' tiling 's to save wut of 

Slav*ry thev' 's lef' 
Arter this (I mna* call it) imprudence o' 

Jeff: 
For a real good Aboss, with Us roots tar 

an' wide. 
Is the kin' a' thing /like to her on my 

side; 
A Scriptnr* name makes it ez sweet ez a 

rose. 
An' it's tea^ker the older an' uglier U 

grows — 



I 



I 



THE KGLOW PAPEBS. 



269 



(I ain't speakin' iio«r o' the rigbtecMn- 

ness of it, 
But the p'iitickk purobue it giyes an' 

the profit). 

Things look pooty squally, it mnst be 

allowed. 
An* I don't see much signs of a hew in 

the cloud : 
Ther* 's too many Deemocrats — leaders 

WUt's WU8S — 

Thet go for the Unioin *tho«fc caiin* a 

cuss 
Ef it helps ajy paiiy thet ever wuz 

heard on. 
So our eagle ain*t made a split Austrian 

hbd on. 
Bat ther' 's still some isooaanrative sjgns 

to be fonud 
Thet shows the gret heart o' the People 

is sound : 
(Excuae me for nsin' a fitomp-phrsae 

agin, 
Batf once in the way on % ihey vnU 

stick like sin:) 
There 's Phillips, for instance, hes jes* 

ketched a Tartar 
In the Law-*n' -Order Party of ole Cin- 

cinnater; 
An' the Compromise System ain't gone 

out o' reach. 
Long 'z you keep the right limits on 

ireedoRi o' speech. 
T wam't none too late, neither, to put 

on the ga^ 
For he 's dangerous now he goes in for 

the flaff. 
Kut thet 1 altogether approye o' bad 



They re mos' gin'ily aigymnnt eo its 

las' legs, — 
An' their logic is ept to he ta indis- 
criminate, 
Nor^on't oUus wait the right objecs to 

'liminate; 
Bat there is a variety 4m 'em, you '11 

find. 
Jest ez usefle an* moi«v besides bein* 

refined, — 
I naean o' the sort thet an laid by the 

dictionary, 
Sech ez sophisms an' caal^ thet '11 kerxy 
^ conviction ary 
Way thet you want to the right class o' 

men, 
An* areataler than all 't ever come from 

a hen: 



"Disunion" done wal till our leah 

Southon friends 
Took the savor all out on 't for national 

ends; 
But 1 guess «' Abdillon " 11 work a spell 

yit. 

When the war 's done, an* so will '' For- 

give-an'-forgit.** 
Times mus' be pooty thoroughly out o' 

all jint, 
£f we can't make a good £onstitootional 

pint; 
An' tne good time 11 oome to be grindin* 

our exes. 
When the war goes to seed in the nettle 

o' texes : 
Ef Jon'tban don't s^uinn, with sech 

helps to assist him, 
I give up my fScdth in the free-sufirage 

system; 
Denxw'cy wun't be nut a mite inter- 

estin'. 
Nor plitikle eapital much wuth in- 

▼estin* ; 
An' my notion is, to keep dark an' lay 

low 
nil we see the right minute to put in 

our blow. — 

But I * ve talked longer now 'n I hed any 

idee, 
An' ther* 'a otiiers yon want to hear 

more 'n you du me ; 
So I 'n set down an' give thet *ere bottle 

a skrimmage. 
For I 've s^wke till I 'm dry ez a real 

graven image. 



No. VI. 
8UNTH1N* IN THE PASTORAL UNE. 

TO THE EDITORS OF THE ATLANTIC 
MONTHLT. 

Jaalam. nth May, 1862. 

Oetttlemen, — At the special request of 
Mr. Biglow, I intended to mclose, together 
with his own contribution, (into which, 
at my suggestion, he has thrown a little 
more of pastoral sentiment than usual,) 
some passages from my sermon on the day 
of the National Fast, from the text, '' Re- 
member them that are in bonds, as bound 
with them,*' iM. xiil 8. But I have not 



270 



THE HGLOW PAPERS. 



leisare saffidant at present for the copy- 
ing of them, even were I ^together eatiii- 
fim with the production as it stands. I 
should prefer, I confess, to contribute the 
entire cusoourse to the pages of your re- 
spectable miscellany, if it should be found 
acceptable upon perusal, especially as I 
find the difficulty of selection of greater 
magnitude than I had anticipated. What 
passes without challenge in the fervour of 
oral delivery, cannot always stand the 
colder criticism of the closet I am not 
so great an enemy of Eloquence as my 
frieud Mr. Biglow would appear to be from 
some passages in his contribution for the 
current month. I would not, indeed, 
hastily suspect him of covertly glaucing at 
myself in nis somewhat caustick animad- 
versions, albeit some of the phrases he 

rrds at are not entire strangers to my lips, 
am a more hearty admin^r of the Puri- 
tans than seems now to he the fashion, and 
believe, that, if they Hebraized a little too 
much in their speech, they showed remark- 
able practical sagacity as statesmen and 
founders. But such phenomena as Puri- 
tanism are the results rather of great relig- 
ious than merely social convulsions, and 
do not long survive them. So soon as an 
earnest conviction has cooled into a phrase, 
its work is over, and the best that can be 
done with it is to bury it^ lie, misaa est. 
I am inclined to agree with Mr. Biglow 
that wo cannot settle the great political 
questions which are now presenting them- 
selves to the nation by the opinions of 
Jeremiah or Ezekiel as to the wants and 
duties of the Jews in their time, nor do I 
believe that an entire community with 
their feelings and views would be practica- 
ble or even agreeable at the present day. 
At the same time I could wisii that their 
habit of subordinating the actual to the 
moral, the flesh to the spirit, and this 
world to the other, were more common. 
They had found out, at least, the great 
military secret that soul weighs more than 
body. — But I am suddenly called to a 
sick-bed in the household of a valucxl par- 
ishioner. 

With esteem and respect, 

Your obedient servant. 

HoMEB Wilbur. 



Once git a smell o' musk into a draw, 
An' it clings hold like precerdents in 

law : 
Your gra' ma'am put it there, — when, 

goKxlneas knows, — 
To jes' this-worldify her Sunday-clo'es ; 



But the old chist wun't sarre her gran'- 

son's wife, 
(For, 'thout new funnitoor, wat good in 

Ufe?) 
An' so ole clawfoot, from the precinks 

dread 
0' the spore chamber, slinks into the 

shed. 
Where, dim with dust, it fast or last 

subsides 
To holdin' seeds an' fifty things besides; 
But better days stick fast in heart an' 

husk. 
An' all you keep in 't gits a acent o* 

musk. 

Jes' so with poets : wut they 've airly read 
Gits kind o* worked into their heart an' 

head. 
So *s 't they can't seem to write but jest 

on sheers 
With furrin countries or played-ont 

ideers. 
Nor hev a feelin', ef it doos n't smadc 
0' wat some critter chose to feel 'way 

back : 
This makes 'em talk o* daisies, larics, an' 

things, 
Ez thoagn we 'd nothin' here that blows 

an' sings, — 
(Why, I 'd give more for one live bobo- 
link 
Than a square mile o' larks in printer's 

ink,) — 
This makes 'em think oar f^t o' May is 

May, 
Which 't ain't, for all the almanicks can 

say. 

little citT-gals, don't never go it 
Blind on the word o' noospaper or poet ! 
They 're apt to puff, an' May-day sel- 
dom looks 
Up in the country ez it doos in books ; 
They're no more like than homets'- 

nests an' hives, 
Or printed sarmons be to holy lives. 
I, with my troases perched on cowhide 

boots, 
Tuggin' my foundered feet out by the 

roots, 
Hev seen ye come to fling on April's 

hearse 
Your muslin nosegays from the mO- 

liner's, 
Pnzzlin' to find dry ground your queen 

to choose, 



THE BIGLOW PAFEBS. 



271 



An' diinoe your thixMits sore in morocker 

shoes : 
I 've seen ye an' felt proud, thet, come 

wut would, 
Our Pilgrim stock wuz pithed with 

harmhood. 
Pleasure dooe make us Yankees kind o' 

winch, 
£z though 't wuz Bunthin' paid for by 

the inch ; 
But yit we du contriye to worry thru, 
£f Dooty tells us thet the thing 's to du, 
. An' ken^ a hoUerday, ef we set out, 
£z stiddily ez though 't wuz a redoubt. 

ly country-bom an' bred, know where to 

find 
Some blooms thet make the season suit 

the mind. 
An' seem to metch the doubtin' blue- 
bird's notes, — 
Half-vent'iin' liverworts in furry coats, 
Bloodroots, whose roUed-up leaves ef 

you oncurl, 
Each on 'em 's cradle to a babv-pearl, — 
Bat these are jes' Spring's pickets ; sure 

ez sin, 
The rebble frosts '11 try to drive 'em in ; 
For half our May 's so awfully like 

May n't, 
't would rile a Shaker or an evrige saint ; 
Though I own up I like our oack'ard 

springs 
Thet Kind o' haggle with their greens 

an' things, 
An' when you 'most give up, 'ithout 

more words 
Toss the fields full o' blossoms, leaves, 

an' birds : 
Thet 's Northun natur', slow an' apt to 

doubt, 
But when it doos git stirred, ther* 's no 

gin-out I 

Fast come the blackbirds clatt'rln' in 
tall trees. 

An' settlin' things in windy Congresses, — 

Queer politicians, though, for I '11 be 
skinned 

£f all on 'era don't head aginst the wind. 

'fore long the trees begin to show be- 
lief, — 

The maple crimsons to a coral-reef. 

Then saflem swarms swing off from all 
the willers 

So plump they look like yaller caterpil- 
lars, 



Then gray hossches'nuts leetle hands 
unfold 

Softer 'n a baby's be at three days old : 

Thet 's robin-redbreast's almanick ; he 
knows 

Thet arter this ther' 's only blossom- 
snows ; 

So, choosin' out a handy crotch an' 
spouse, 

He goes to plast'rin' his adobe house. 

Then seems to come a hitch, — things 

lag behind, 
Till some fine momin' Spring makes up 

her mind. 
An' ez, when snow-swelled rivers cresh 

their dams 
Heaped-up with ice thet dovetails in 

an' jams, 
A leak comes spirtin' thru some pin-hole 

cleft. 
Grows stronger, fercer, tears out right 

an' left, 
Then all the waters bow themselves an' 

come, 
Suddin, in one gret slope o' shedderin' 

foam, 
Jes' so our Spring gits eveiythin' in tune 
An' gives one leap from April into 

thine: 
Then all comes crowdin' in ; afore you 

think, 
Young oak-leaves mist the side-hill 

woods with pink ; 
The catbird in the laylock-bush is loud ; 
The orchards turn to heaps o' rosy cloud ; 
Red-cedars blossom tu, tnough few folks 

know it, 
An' look all dipt in sunshine like a poet ; 
The lime-trees pile their solid stacKs o' 

shade 
An' drows'Iy simmer with the bees' 

sweet trade ; 
In ellum-shrouds the flashin' hangbird 

clines 
An' for &e summer vy'ge his hammock 

slings ; 
All down the loose-walled lanes in 

archin' bowers 
The barb'ry droops its strings o' golden 

flowers, 
Whose shrinkin* hearts the school-gals 

love to try 
With pins, — they '11 worry youm so, 

boys, bimeby ! 
But I don't love your cat'logue style, — 

do you ? — 



I 



27£ 



TBZ BIGLOW PAPEBS. 



I £z ef to sell off Natnr' by rendoo ; 
[ One word with blood in 't 's twice ez 
good ez two : 
'nuff sed, Jttne'a bridesnan, poet o' Uie 
I year, 

GUdnew on wings, tbe bobolink, is bere ; 
Half-bid in tip-top apple^bkMOM be 

swings, 
Or climbs aginst the breeze with qniv- 

erin' wings. 
Or, givin' way to 't in a mock despair, 
Bona down, a brook o' la^ghtar, thni 
the air. 

I ollus feel the sap start in my veiiis 
In Spring, with euros heaAa an' pnckly 

pains, 
Thet drive m^ when I git a-ohanoi^ to 

walk 
Off by myself to her a privit talk 
With a qaeer critter thet can't seem to 

I 'gi^M 

Along o' me like most fotb^ — Mister 

Me. 
Ther* 's times when I 'm nnsoaUe ez a 

atone, 
An' sort o* suffocate to be alone, — 
I 'm crowded jes' to think thet folks are 

nigh. 
An' can't bear nothin' closer than the 

sky; 
Kow the wind 's full ez shifty in the 

xnind 
Ez wut it is ott'-doors, ef I ain't blind. 
An' aometime^ in the fairest aou'west 

weather, 
My innard vane pints east ibr weeks to- 
gether, 
My natur' gits all goose-flerii, an' my sins . 
Come drizzlin' on my consdenoe sharp 

ez pins : 
Wal, et sech times I jes' slip out o' sight 
An' take it out in a fair stan'-up fight 
"With the one cuss I can't lay on the sbel^ 
The crook'dest stick in all' the heap, — 

Myself. 

'T wuz so las' Sabbath arter meetiu'- 

time: 
Findin' my feelin's wouldn't nowa}'8 

rhyme 
With nobody's, but off the hendle flew 
An' took things from an east->wind pint 

o' view, 
I started off to lose me in the hills 
Where the pines be, up back o' 'Siah's 

MiUs: 



Pines, efyou 'te bla^ are tlie best friends 

I know. 
They mope aa' sigh an' sheer your feel- 
in's so, — 
They hesh the ground beneaiA sq* to. I 

swan. 
You half-foi^t yon 'ws cut a body on. 
Ther' 's a small school us' there where 

four roads meet, 
The door-steps hollered out by little feet, 
An' 8ide*posts carved with namea whose 

owners grew 
To gret men, some on 'en, an' deacon^ 

tu; 
't ain't used no longer, ooz the town 

hecgat 
A high-school, where they teadi the 

Lord knows wut : 
Three-story lainin' 's pop'lar now ; I 

We thriv' ez wal on jes* two stories less. 
For it strikes sue thM"' 's sech a thing ck 

ainnin' 
By overloadin* children's ttadeifumin' : 
WaU here it wuz I larned my A B G, 
An' it 'a a kind o' favorite spot with 



We 're oums oritters : Now ain't jes* the 

miottte 
Thet ever fits us easy while we 're in 

it; 
Long ez 't wuz fotur', *t would be perfieot 

Dliss, — 
Soon ez it 's paa^ thot time 's wuth feen 

o* this ; 
An' yit there Ain't a man thet need be 

told 
Thet Kow 's the tmly bird lays eggs o* 

gold. 
A knee-hiffih lad, I used to plot an' plaa 
An' think t wuz life's cap-sheaf to ue a 

man ; 
Now, gittin' gray, there's nothm' 1 enjoy 
Like dreamin' back along into a boy : 
So the ole achool'ua' is a place I choose 
Afore all others, ef I want to muse ; 
1 set down whore I used to set, an' git 
My boyhood back* an' better things with 

it.- 
Faith, Hope, an' santhin', ef it is n*t 

Cherrity, 
It 's want o' guile, an' thet 's ez gret a 

rerrity, — 
While Fancy'a oushin'« free to Frinoe 

and Clown, 
Makes the hard bench ez aoft ec milk- 
weed-down. 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



273 



Now, 'fore I knowed, thet Sabbath 

artemoon 
Thet I sot out to tramp myself in tane, 
I fonnd me. in the Mhoorus* on my seat, 
Dmmmin* the march to No-wheres with 

my feet. 
Thinkin' o' nothin*, I Ve heerd ole folks 

say 
Is a hard kind o* dooty in its way : 
It *8 tliinkin' everythin' you ever knew. 
Or ever heam, to make your feelin's blue. 
I sot there tryin' thet on for a spell : 
I thought o' the Rebellion, then o* Hell, 
Which some folks tell ye now is jest a 

metterfor 
(A the'ry, p'raps, it wun*t feel none the 

better for) ; 
I thought o* Reconstruction, wnt we 'd 

win 
Pfttchin' our patent self-blow-up agin : 
1 thought ef this 'ere milkiiT o the 

wits, 
So much a month, wam't givin' Natur' 

fits,— 
Ef folks wam't druT, findin* their own 

milk fail. 
To work the cow thet hez an iron tail. 
An' ef idees 'thout ripenin' in the pan 
Would send up cream to humor ary man : 
From this to tnet I let my worryin' creep, 
Till finally I must ha' fell asleep. 

Our lives in sleep are some like streams 

thet glide 
'twizt fle^ an' sperrit boundin' on each 

side. 
Where both shores* shadders kind o' 

mix an' mingle 
In sunthin' thet ain't jes' like either 

single ; 
An' when you cast off moorin's from 

To-day, 
An' down towards To-morrer drift away. 
The imiges thet tengle on the stream 
Make a new upside-down'ard world o' 

dream : 
Sometimes they seem like sunrise-streaks 

an' warnin's 
O' wut '11 be in Heaven on Sabbath- 

momiu's, 
An', mixed right in ez ef jest out o' spite, 
Sunthin' thet says your supper ain't gone 

right. 
I 'm jB^t on dreams, an' often when 1 

wake, 
I 've lived so much it makes my mem'ry 

ache, 

18 



An' can't skuroe take a cat-nap in my 

cheer 
'thout hevin' 'em, some good, some bad, 

all queer. 

Now I wuz settin' where I'd ben, it 

seemed. 
An' ain't sure yit whether 1 r'ally 

dreamed, 
Nor, ef I did, how long I might ha' 

slep'. 
When 1 heam some un stompin' up the 

step. 
An' lookin' round, ef two an' two make 

four, 
I see a Pilgrim Father in the door. 
He wore a steeple-hat, tall boots, an' 

spurs 
With rowels to 'em big ez ches'nut-burni, 
An' his gret sword behind him slo^ied. 

away 
Long 'z a man's speech thet dunno wut 

to say. — 
*' Ef your name 's Biglow, an' your 

given-name 
Hosee," sez he, " it 's arter you I came; 
I 'm your gret-gian'ther multiplied by 

three. •*^— 
**'iiywutr" MZ I. — " Your gret-gret- 

gret," sez he : 
" You would n't ha' never ben here but 

for me. 
Two hundred an' three year ago this May 
The ship I come in sailed up £)6ton Bay ; 
I 'd been a cunnle in our Civil War, — 
But wut on airth hev you gut up one for? 
Coz we du things iu England, 't ain't for 

you 
To git a notion you can du 'em tn : 
I 'm told you write in public prints : ef 

true, 
It's nateral you should know a thing 

or two." — 
"Thet air's an aigymunt I can't en- 
dorse, — 
't would prove, coz you wear spurs, you 

kep' a horse : 
For brains," sez I, " wutever you may 

think, 
Ain't bouu' to cash the drafs o' pen-an'- 

ink, — 
Though mos' folks write ez ef they hoped 

jes' quickenin' 
The chum would argoo skim-milk into 

thickenin' ; 
But skim-milk ain't a thing to change 

its view 



274 



THE BtGLOW PAPEB& 



O' wnt it '8 meant for mora 'n a smoky 

flae. 
But da pray tell me, 'fore we fnrder go, 
How in all Natur^ did you come to know 
'bout our affairs," sez 1, "in Kingdom- 
Come?"— 
" Wal, I worked round at sperrit-mppin* 

some. 
An' danced the tables till their legs wuz 

gone, 
In hopes o' lamin' wnt wnz eoin' on,** 
8es he, *'biit meiums lie so like all-split 
Thet I concluded it wuz best to quit. 
But, come now, ef yoa wan*t confess to 

knowin'. 
You 'ye some cotnectures how the 

thing's a-goin'/' — 
**Gran'ther," sez I, *'a yane wam*t 

nerer known 
Kor asked to her a jedgment of its own ; 
An' yit, ef 't ain't gut rusty in the Jints, 
It 's safe to tmst its sa^ on certln pints : 
It knows the wind's opinions to ax, 
An' the wind settles wat the weather '11 

be;" 
** I never thought a scion of onr stock 
Could grow the wood to make a weather- 
cock ; 
When I wnz yoanger'n you, skuroe 

more 'n a shaver, 
Ko airthly wind,** sez he, '^conld make 

me waver ! " 
(Ez he said this, he clinched his Jaw an' 

forehead, 
Hitchin* his belt to bring his sword-hilt 

fbrratd,.) — 
" Jes so it wuz with me," sez I, "I swow. 
When / wuz younger 'n wut you see me 

now, — 
Kothin' from Adam's fall to Holdy's 

bonnet, 
Thet I wam't full-cocked with my jedg- 
ment on it ; 
But now I 'm sittin' on in life, I find 
It's a sight narder to make up my 

mind, — 
Nor I don't often try tu, when events 
Will du it for me free of all expense. 
The moral question 's ollus plain 

enough, — 
It's jes' the human-natur* side thet's 

tough; 
Wut 's best to think may n't puzzle me 

nor you, — 
The pinch comes in decidin' wut to du; 
£f you read History, all runs smooth ez 

grease, 



Cos there the men ain't nothin' more *b 

idees, — 
But come to make it, ez we must to-ds v, 
Th' idees hev arms an' legs an' stop the 

way: 
It's easy fixin' things in facts an' fig- 

gers,— 
They can't resist, nor wam't brou^t up 

with niggers ; 
But come to try your the'ry on, — why, 

then 
Your facts an' iiggera change to ign'ant 

men 
Actin' ez ugly — - — " Smite 'em hip 

an' thigh ! " 
Sez gnn'ther, " and let every man-child 

die! 
Oh for three weeks o' Crommle an* the 

Lord! 
Up^ Israel, to yonr tents an' grind the 

sword I " — 
''Thet kind o' thing worked wal in ole 

Judee, 
But you fomt how long it 's ben A. D. ; 
Yon think tiiet 's ellenence, — I call it 

shoddy, 
A thing," sez I, "won't cowr soiol nor 

bcMv ; 
I like the plain all-wool o' common- 
sense^ 
Thet warms ye now, an' will a twelvi^ 

month hence. 
Tou took to follerin' where the Prophets 

beckoned, 
An', fust yon knowed on, back eome 

Charles the Second ; 
Now wnt I want 's to hev aU toe gain 

stick, 
An' not to start Millennium too quick ; 
We hain't to punish only, bat to Kt«p, 
An* the cure 's gut to go a cent'ry deep." 
'* Wal, milk-an^-water ain't the best o' . 

Sez he, ** an' so you 11 find before yoa 'n 

thru ; 
Ef reshness venters sunthin', ^illy- 

shally 
Loses ez often wut 's ten times the Tally. 
Thet exe of onm, when Charles's neck 

gut split, 
Opened a gap thet ain't bridfled over yit : 
Suiv'ry 's your Charles, the Lord hez gin 

the exe — " 
*«Our Charles," sez I, "hez gut eig^t 

million necks. 
The hardest question ain't the black 

man's right, 



THG BIGLOW PilPKBS. 



275 



The trouble is to 'nmncipfite the white ; 
One's chained in body an' can be sot 

free, 
Bat t' otiier 's chained in soul to an idee : 
It *B a long job^ but we shall worry thra 

it; 
£f bagnets fail, the spellin'-book most 

du it." 
" HoMe/* lez he, " I think yon *re goin' 

to fail : 
The rpttlesnake ain*t dangerous in the 

taU; 
This 'ere rebellioin *8 nothin but the 

rettle, — 
Ton 11 stomp on thet an* think yon Ve 

won the bettle : 
It *s Slavery thet 's the fangs an' thinkin* 

head. 
An' ef Toa want selvation, cresh it 

dead, — 
An* cresh it snddin, or yon *11 lam by 

waitin* 
Thet Chance wnn't stop to listen to de- 

batin*!**— 
"God's truth r sez I, — " an' ef / held 

the club, 
An' knowed jes' where to strike, — bat 

there 's the rub ! " — 
<< Strike soon," ses he, "or yon '11 be 

deadly ailin', — 
Folks thet 's afeared to fkO are sure o' 

failin' ; 
God hates your sneakin' cretors thet 

believe 
He 11 settle things they ran away an' 

leave!" 
He brooi^t his foot down feioely, es he 

spoke. 
An' give me sech a startle thet I woke. 



No. VIL 
LATESrr VIEWS OF MR. BIGLOW. 

FRELUnXABT 90TB. 

[It Is with feelings of the liveliest vain 
that we inform onr readers of the death of 
the Reverend Homer Wilbur, A. M., which 
took place snddenly, by an apoplectic 
stroke, on the afternoon of Christinas day, 
1862. Our venerable fHend (for so we 
may venture to call him, though we never 
enjoyed the high privilese of nis personal 
acquaintance) was in nis eighty-fourth 
year, having been boni June 12, 1779, at 



Pigagusset Preeinct (now West Jernsha) 
in the then I>istrict of Maine. Graduated 
with distinction at Huhville College in 
1805, he punned his theological studiea 
with the late Reverend Preserved Thacker, 
D. D., and was called to the charge of the 
First Society in Jaalam in 1809, where he 
remained till his death. 

** As an antiquary he has probably left 
no sn^rior, if, indeed, an equal," writes 
his fnend and colleague, the Reverend 
Jeduthun Hitchcock, to whom we are 
indebted for the ahove facts ; *' in nroof of 
which 1 need only allude to his ' HiKtorv 
of Jaalam, Genealogical, Topog^phical, 
and Eccle^astical,' 1849, which has won 
him an eminent and enduring place in onr 
more aoUd and useful literature. It is 
only to be regretted that his intense appli- 
cation to historical studies should have so 
entirely withdrawn him from the pursuit 
of poetical oompoaitjon, for which ne was 
endowed by Nature with a remarkable 
aptitude. His well-known h>'mn, begin« 
ning 'With clouds of care encompasserl 
round,* has been attributed in some collec- 
tions to the late President Dwight, and it 
is hardly presumptuous to affirm that the 
simile of the rainbow in the eighth stanza 
would do no discredit to that polished 
pen." 

We regret that we have not room at 
present for the whole of Mr. Hitchcock's 
ezceediuKly valuable communication. We 
hope to lay more liberal extracts from it 
before our readers at an early day. A 
summary of ita contents will give some 
notion of its importance and interest It 
oontdbis : 1st, A bio^phical sketch of 
Mr. Wilbur, with notices of his predeces* 
SOTS in the pastoral office, and of eminent 
clerical contemporaries ; 2d, An obitu- 
ary of deceaseci, from the Punkin-Falls 
'< Weekly Paimller* ; 8d, A list of his 
printed and manuscript productions and 
of projected works; itb. Personal anec- 
dotes and reoollcctionsj with specimens of 
table-talk ; 6th, A tnbute to his relict, 
Mrs. Dorcas (Pilcox) Wilbur; «th. A list 
of graduates fitted for different colleges by 
Mr. Wilbur, with biographical memoranda 
touching tne more distinguished ; 7th, 
Concerning learned, charitable, and other 
societies, of whicn Mr. Wilbur was a 
member, and of those with which, had his 
life been prolonged, he would aoubtless 
have been associated, with a complete cat- 
aloflrue of such Americans as have been 
Fellows of the Royal Society ; 8th, A brief 
summary of Mr. Wilbur's latest conclu- 
sions concerning the Tenth Horn of the 
Beast in its special application to recent 
events for which the public, as Mr. Hitch- 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



277 



We are not merely rappreming an enor- 
mous riot, bnt contending for the poftsibility 
of permanent onler coexisting with denio- 
cratical tickleneas ; and while I would not 
superstitiously venerate form to the sacri- 
fice of suhAtance, neither would I forget 
that an adherence to precedent and pre- 
scription can alone give that continuity 
and coherence under a democratical consti- 
tution which are inherent in the person of 
a deft])otiek monarch and the selfishness of 
an aristocratical class. SUt pro ratione 
volitntas is as dangerous in a majority as 
in a tyrant 

I cannot allow the present production of 
my young friend to go out without a pro- 
test from me against a certain extremeness 
in his views, more panionable in the poet 
than the philosopher. While I agree with 
him, that the only cure for rebellion is 
suppression by force, yet I must animad- 
vert upon certain phrases where I seem to 
see a coincidence with a popular fallacy on 
the subject of compromise. On the one 
hand there are those who do not see that 
the vital principle of Govenmient and the 
seminal princime of Law cannot properly 
be made a subject of comtiromise at all, 
and on the otner those wno are equally 
blind to the truth that without a com- 
promise of individual opinions, interests, 
and even rights, no society would be pos- 
sible. In medio tutissimus. For my own 
party I would gladly 



£f I a song or two could make 

Like rockets druv by their own 
bnmin*, 
All leap an' light, to leave a wake 
Mens hearts an' faces skyward 
tumin' ! — 
But, it strikes me, 't ain't jest the time 
Fer stringin* wonls with settisfaction : 
Wut *8 wanted now *s the silent rhyme 
Twixt u)uight Will au' downright 
Action. 

Words, ef yon keep *em, pay their keep, 

But gabble *s the short cut to ruin ; 
It 's gratis, (gals half-price,) but cheap 

At no rate, ef it benders doin' ; 
Th*»r' 's nothin* wuss, 'less 't Is to set 

A maityr-prem'um upon jawrin' : 
Teaiwts git dangt^rous, ef you shet 

riieir lids down en 'em with Fort 
Warren. 

'Bout long enough it 's l^n discussed 
Who sot the magazine aiire, 



An' victory in the eend 'U fix 

Where longest will an' truest heart is. 
An' wut 'a the Guv'ment folks about ? 

Trj'in' to hope ther' 's nothin' doin*, 
An' look ez though they did n't duubt 

Suuthin' pertickler wuz a-brcwin'. 

Ther' *s critters yit thet talk an' act 

Fer wut they call Conciliation ; 
They 'd hand a hufTlo-drove a tmct 

When they wuz madder than all 
Rashan. 
Conciliate ? it jest means be kicked/ 

No metter how they phrase an' tone it ; 
It means thet we 're to set down licked, 

Thet we 're poor shotes an' glad to 
own it ! 

A war on tick 's ez dear *z the deuce. 

But it wun't leave no lastin' traces, 
Ez 't would to nwke a sneak in' truce 

Without no moral specie-basis : 
Ef gi'een-hacks ain't nut jest the cheese, 

I guess ther' 's evils thet 's extremer, — 
Fer instance, — shin plaster idees 

Like them put out by Gov'nor Sey- 
mour. 

Last year, the Nation, at a word, 

When tremblin' Freedom cried to 
shield her, 
Flamed weldin' into one keen sword 

Waitin' an' longin' fer a wielder : 
A splendid flash ! — but how 'd the pra.sp 

With sech a chance ez thet wuz tally ? 
Ther' wam't no meanin' in our clasp, — 

Half this, half thet, all shilly-Hholly. 



An* whether, ef Bob Wickliffe bust, 
'T would scare us more or blow us 
higher. 

D* ye s'pose the Gret Foreseer's plan 
Wuz settled fer him in town-meetiu' ? 

Or thet ther' *d ben no Fall o' Man, 
Ef Adam 'd on'y bit a sweetin' 7 

Oh, Jon 'than, ef you want to be 

A rugged chap agin an' hearty. 
Go fer wutever '11 hurt Jefl' D., 

Nut wut *11 boost up ary part v. 
Here 's hell broke loose, an' we lay flat 

With half the univarne a-singein*, 
Till Sen'tor This an' Gov'nor Thet 

Stop squabblin' fer the gardiug-ingin. 

It 's war we 're in, not politics ; 

It 's systems wrastlin' now, not part ies ; j 



I 



J 



278 



THE 6I6L0W PAPEB8. 



r 



More men ? More Man 1 It '8 there we 
fail; 
Weak plans grow weaker yit by 
leugthenin : 
Wat use ill addin' to the tail. 

When it *• the head 's in need o' 
strengthenin' ? 
We wanted one thet felt all Chief 

From roots o' hair to sole o' stockin*, 
Squai-e-sot with thousau'-tou belief 
In him an' us, ef earth went rockin* I 

Ole Hick'ry would n*t ha' stdod see-saw 

'Bout doin' things till thej wu2 done 
with, — 
He 'd smashed the tables o' the Law 

In time o' need to load his gun vrith ; 
He could n't see but jest one side, — 

£f his, 't wnz God*B, an' thet wuz 
plenty ; 
An' so his ''FarrartU/** multiplied 

An army's fightin' weight by twenty. 

But this 'ere histin', creak, creak, creak. 

Your canpen's heart up with a derrick, 
This try in to coax a ligntnin' -streak 

Out of a half-discouraged hay-rick, 
This hangin* on niont' arter mont' 

Fer one sharp purpose 'roougst the 
twitter, — 
1 tell ye, it doos kind o' stunt 

The peth and sperit of a critter. 

In six months where '11 the People be, 

£f leaders look on revolution 
£z though it wuz a cup o* tea, — 

Jest social el'ments m solution f 
This weighin' things doos wal enough 

Wheu war cools down, an' comes to 
writin' ; 
But while it 's makin*, the true stuff 

1 8 pison-mad, pig-headed fightin'. 

Democ'acv gives every man 

The rignt to be his own oppressor ; 
But a loose Gov'ment ain't the plan. 

Helpless ez spilled beans on a dresser : 
I tt»ll ye one thing we might lam 

From them smart critters, the Seoed- 
ere, — 
El" l)ein' right 's the fust consam. 

The 'fore-the-fust 's cast-iron leaders. 

But 'pears to me I sec some signs 
Thet we 're a-goiu' to use oar senses : 



Jeff drav us into thes6 hanl lines. 
An' oagh' to bear his half th* ex- 
penses ; 
Slavery *s Secession's heart an* will. 
South, North, East, West, where'er 
vou find it. 
An' ef It drors into War's mill, 
D' ye say them thunder-stones sha* n't 
grind it? 

D* ye s'pose, ef Jeff giv him a lick, 

Ole Hick'ry 'd tried his head to soTn 
So 's 't would n't hurt thet ebony stick 

Thet 's made our side see stars so ofn ? 
"No!" he'd ha' thundered, "On your 
knees. 

An' own one fia^, one road to glory! 
Soft-heartedness, in times like these. 

Shows sofness in the upper stoiy ! " 

An* why should we kick np a muss 

About the Pres'dunt's proclamation? 
It ain't a-goin' to lib'rate us, 

Ef we don't like emancipation : 
The right to be a cussed fool 

Is safe from all devices human. 
It 's common (ez a gin'l rule) 

To every critter Mm o* woman. 

So ve 're all right, an' I, fer one. 

Don't think our cause '11 lose in rally 
By rammin' Scriptur' in our gun, 

All' gittin' Natur* fer an ally : 
Thank God, say I, fer even a plan 

To lift one human bein's level. 
Give one more chance to make a man, 

Or, anyhow, to spile a devil ! 

Not thet I 'm one thet much expec' 

Millennium by express to-morrer ; 
They will miscarry, — I rec'lec* 

Tu many on 'em, to my sorrer : 
Men ain't made angeh in a day, 

No matter how you mould an' labor 
'em, — 
Nor 'riginal ones, I guess, don't stay 

With Abe so ofn ez with Abraham. 

The'rv thinks Fact a pooty thing. 
An wants the banns read right en- 
sain* ; 
But fact wun't noways wear the ring, 

'Thout years o' settin' up an* wooin' : 
Though, arter all. Time's aial-plate 
Marks cent'ries with the minute-fin- 
ger* 
An* Good can't never come tu late. 

Though it doos seem to try an' linger. 



THB BIGIX>W PJLP£R». 



279 



An' come wnt will, I think it '• gmnd 

Abe '8 gut his will et la«t bloom-fur- 
Daiced 
In trial-flames till it *11 stand 

The strain o' bein* in deadly earnest: 
Thet's wnt we want, — we want to 
know 

The folks on onr side hez the bravery 
To b'Ueve ez hard, come weal^come woe. 

In Freedom ez Jeff dooa in Slavr^xy. 

Set the two forces foot to foot, 

An* every man knows who '11 be win- 
ner, 
Whose faith in God hez ary root 

Thet goes down deeper than his din- 
ner: 
Then 't will be felt from pole to pole, 

Without no iMied o' proclamation. 
Earth's biggest Country 's gut her soul 

An' risen up Earth's Greatest Nation ! 



No. VIIL 
KETTELOPOTOMACHIA. 

PBBLDCQIART NOT& 

l3r the month of Febmary, 1866, the 
editors of the "Atlantic Monthly'' re- 
oeive<l from the Rev. Mr. Hitchcock of 
Jaalam a letter enclosing tlie macaronic 
venses which follow, and promising to send 
more, If more should be communicated. 
*' They were rapped out on the evening of 
Thursday last past," he says, "by wiiat 
claimed to be tne spirit of my late prede- 
cessor IB the ministry here, the Rev. Dr. 
Wilbur, through the medium of a young 
inaa at present domiciled in my family. 
As to the possibility of such spiritual 
manifestations, or whether they be prop- 
erly so entitled, I express no opinion, as 
there is a division of sentiment on that 
subject in the iwrish, and many persons 
of the highest respectability in social stand- 
ing entertain opposing views. The young 
man who was improved as a medium sub- 
mitted himself to the experinhent with 
manifest reluctance, and is still unprepared 
to believe iu the authenticity of toe mani- 
festations. During bis residence with me 
his deportment has always been exemplary ; 
he has been constant in his attendance 
u|x>n our family devotions and the public 
ninistratkms of the Word, and has more 
than once privately stated to me, that the 
latter had oftea brought him under deep 
concern of mind. The table is an ordinary 



qnadnipedal one, weighing about ttirty 
pounds, three f«et seven inches and a half 
ui height, four feet square on the top, and 
of beech or maple. I am not definitely pre- 
pared to say wiiich. It had once belongeil 
to my respected predecessor, and hail b^ii, 
so far as 1 can learn upon careful inquiry, 
of perfectljjT regular and correct habits up 
to the evening in question. On that occsr 
sion the youn^ man previously alludeil to 
bad been sitting with bis hands resting 
carelessly upon it, while I read over to him 
at his request certain portions of my last 
Sabbath's discourse. On a sudden tlie rai^- 
pings, as they are called, commenced to 
render themselves audibl^ at first faintly, 
but in process of time more distinctly and 
with violent agitation of the table. The 
younff man expressed himself both sur- 
prised and pained by the wholly unex- 
pected, and, so far as he was concerned, 
unprecedented occurrence. At the earnest 
solicitation, however, of several who hap- 
pened to be present, he consented to go on 
with the experiment, and with the assist- 
ance of the alphabet commonly employed 
in similar emergencies, the following com- 
munication was obtained and written down 
immediately by myself. Whether any, 
and if ao, how much weight should be at- 
tached to it, I venture no decision. Tliat 
Dr. Wilbur had sometimes employed his 
leisure in Latin versification I nave ascer- 
tained to be the case, though all that hss 
been discovered of that nature among his 
papers consists of some fragmentary pas- 
sages of a version into hexameters of por- 
tions of the Song of Solomon. These I had 
communicated about a week or ten days 
previous [ly] to the yotmg gentleman who 
ofliciated as medium in the communica- 
tion afterwards received. I have thus, I be- 
lieve, stated all the material facts that have 
any elucidative bearing upon this myste- 
rious occurrence." 

So far Mr. Hitchcock, who seems per- 
fectly master of Webster's nnabriuge<l 
()uarto, and whose flowing style leads Iiim 
into certain further expatiations for which 
we have not room. We have since learned 
that the young man he speaks of was a 
sophomore, put under his care during a 

sentence of rustication from College, 

where he had distinguished himself rather 
by physical experiments on the compara- 
tive power of resistance in window-glass 
to various solid substances, than in the 
more regular studies of the place. Tn an- 
swer to a letter of Inquiry, the professor of 
Latin says, "There was no harm in the 
boy that I know of beyond his loving mis- 
chief more than Latin, nor can I think of 
any spirits likely to possess him except 



280 



THE BIGLOW PAPEBS. 



those commonly called animal. He was 
certainly not remarkable for hia Latinity, 
but I see nothing in the verses yon enclose 
tliat would lead roe to think them beyond 
his capacity, or the result of any special 
inspiration whether of beech or maple. 
Hail that of birch been tried upon him ear- 
lier and more faithfully, the verses wonkl 
perhaps have been better in quality and 
certainly in quantity.** This exact and 
thorough scholar then goes on to point out 
many false quantities and barbarisms. It 
is but fair to say, however, that the author, 
whoever he was, seems not to have been 
nnaware of some of them himself, as is 
shown by a great many notes appended to 
the verses as we received them, and pur- 
porting to be by Scaliger, Bentlev and 
others, — among them the Esprit de Vol- 
titire 1 These we have omitted as clearlv 
meant to be humorous and altogether fail- 
ingtherein. 

Though entirely satisfied that the verses 
are altogether unworthy of Mr. Wilbur, 
who seems to have been a tolerable Latin 
scholar after the fashion of his day, yet we 
have determined to print them here partly 
a» belonsing to the res ge^joe of this collec- 
tion, and partly as a warning to their pu- 
tative author which may keep him from 
such indecorous pranks tor the future. 



KBTTELOFOTOMACHIA. 

P. Ovidii Nasonis carmen herofcnm maca- 
Toniciim peri>)cxan)etnim, inter Getas getico 
more compofttum, denno per medium arden- 
tispiritnaleni, adjuvante mensA diabolice ob- 
aesfiA, recuperatuin, carftque Jo. Oonradi 
fk-hwarzil umbne, alUs necnon pluilmla adju- 
vantibos, restitutum. 

LIBER I. 

PuNCTORFM garretos colens et cellara 

Quinque, 
Gutteribus quie et gandes sandayam 

abstingere frontem, 
Plenimriue insidos solita finitare linnore 
Tangler^em quern homines appellant 

Di qnoqne rotent, 
Pimpliidis, nibicunaaque, Mnsa, 0, 

bourbonolensque, 5 

Fenianas rixas procul, alma, brogipo- 

tentis 
Patrieii cyathos iterantis et horrida 

bella, 
Backos dum virides viridis Brigitta i-e- 

mittit, 



t-^ 



linquens exinitoB oelebrem, da, Yir- 

ginienaes 
Rowdes, pnecipue et Te, heros alte» 

Polarde ! lO 

Insignes juveDeaqne, illo certamiDe 

lictos, j 

Colemane, Tylere, nee Toa oblivi<Hie j 

relinqiiam. i 

• i 

Ampla aqnils invicts fansto est sub 

tegmine terra, 
Backyfer, ooiskeo pollens, ebenoqne 

bipede, 
Socora pnesidum et altriz (deniqae 

quidniminantiura), i^ 

Duplefveonim uberrima ; illis et integre 

cordi est 
Deplere assidue et sine proprio iucom- 

modo fiscum ; 
Nunc etiam placidum hoc opna in- 

victique secuti, 
Goosam aureos ni <^ggos Yoluiasent im- 

mo necare 
Quse peperit, saltern ac de illis meliora 

merentero. 30 

Condidit hanc Smithius Daz, Cap- 

tinuB inclytus ilie 
Regis Ulyssfe instar, docti arcnm in- 

tenders longum ; 
Condidit ille Johnsmith, Tirginiamqae 

vocavit, 
Settledit autem Jacobus rex, iioiiiiiie 

primus, 
Rascalis imidens niptis, blagaidisqne 

debosntis, i( 

Militibusque ex Falstaffi legione fnga- 

tis 
Wenchiaqne illi quas poterant aedncere 

nuptas ; 
Virginenm, ah, Uttns matronis talibus 

impar ! 
Progeniem stirpe ex hoc non sine stig- 

mate ducunt 
Multi sese qui jactant regum esse ne- 

potes : » 

Hand omnes, Mater, genitos qme nnper 

liabebas 
Belle fortes, consilio cantos, Tirtnte 

decoros, 
Jamque et habes, sparso si patrio in 

sanguine virtus, 
Mostrabiaque iterum, antiquis sab astris 

reducta I 
De illis qui npkikitant, dioebam, ram- 

pora tanta, S9 

Letcheris et Floydis magnisque Extra 

ordine BiUiB; 



J 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



281 



Est hit prisca fides jnrare et breakere 

wordum ; 
Poppere fellerum a tetgo, aut stickere 

clam bowiknifo, 
Hand sane facinus, dignnm sed rictrice 

lanro; 
Lamipere et nigenini, factum pnestan- 

tius nllo : 40 

Ast chlamydem picipluroatam, Icariam, 

flito et inentam, 
Yanko gratis inauere, ilium et valido 

railo 
lusuper acri equitare docere est hoepitio 

uti. 
Nescio an ille Polardus duplefveoribus 

ortus, 
Sed reputo potius de radice poorwite- 

tnanonim ; 4A 

Fortniti proles, ni fallor» Tylerus erat 
Pneddis, omnibus abWhiggisnominatns 

a poor cuss ; 
£t nobilem tertium eWncit veneiabile 

nomen. 
Ast animosi orones bellique ad tympana 

ha ! ha ! 
Vociferant Isti, procul et si proelia, 

sive fio 

Hostem incautum atsito possunt shoot- 

ere salvi ; 
Imperiique capaces, asset si stylus 

affmen. 
Pro dnla spoliabant et sine dangere fito. 
PrsB ceterisqne Polardus: si Secessia 

licta, 
Se nnnquam licturum jurat, res et un- 

heardof, M 

Verbo hiesit, similisque audaci roosteri 

iiivicto, 
Dunghilli solitus rex pullos whoppere 

molles, 
Grautum, hirelingos stripes quique et 

splendida tollunt 
Sidera, et Yankos, territum et omnem 

sarsuit orbem. 
Usque dabant operam isti omnes, 

noctesque diesque, 00 

Saniuelem demulgere avunculum, id 

vero siccum ; 
Uberibus sed ejus, et hdrum est culpa, 

remotis, 
Parvam domi vaccam, nee mora minima, 

qnasnint, 
Lacticarantem autem et droppam vix 

in die duntem ; 
Beddite avunculi, et exclamabant, red- 

dite papx)am ! 65 



Polko ut consule, gemens, Billy im* 

murmurat Extra ; 
Echo respondit, thesauro ex vacuo, pap- 

pam ! 
Fnistra explorant pocketa, ruber nare 

repertum ; 
Offida expulsi aspiciunt rapta, et Para- 

disum 
Occlusum, viridesque hand illis nascere 

backos ; 70 

Stupent tunc oculis madidis spittantque 

silenter. 
Adhibere nsu ast longo vires prorsus 

inepti, 
Si non ut qui grindeat axve trabemve 

reuolvat, 
Viiginiara excniciant totis nunc might- 

ibu' mati^m ; 
Kon melius, puts, nono panis dimid- 

iumne est? 75 

Readere iln non posse est casus com* 

moner ullo ; 
Tanto intentius imprimere est opus ergo 

statuta ; 
Nemo proptei^ea pejor, melior, sine 

doubto, 
Obtineat qui contractnm, si et postea 

rhino ; 
Eigo Polardus, si quis, inexsuperabilis 

heros, 80 

Colemanus impavidus nondum, atque 

in purpure natus 
Tylerus lohanides celerisque in flito 

Kathaniel, 
Qmsque optans digitos in tantum stick- 
ere pium, 
Adstant accincti imprimere aut perrum- 

pere leees : 
Quales os miserum rabidi tres segre 

molossi, 85 

Quales aut dubinm textum atra in veste 

ministri, 
Tales circumstabant nunc nostri inopes 

hoc job. 
Hisque Polardus voce canoro talia 

fatus : 
Primum autem, veluti est mos, preceps 

quisque liquorat, 
Quisque et Nicotianum ingens quid 

inserit atrum, 90 

Heroiim nitidum decus et solamcn avi- 

tum, 
Masticat ac simul altisonans, spittattjue 

profuse : 
Quis de Yiiginia meruit pnestantius 

unquam ? 
Quis se pro patria curavit impigre tutum ? 



282 



THK BIGLOW PAPEB8. 



1 



I 



Speechitque atticnliflqae hominnm quit 

fortior nlliu, Oft 

Ingemimms pennae lickos et Tulneim 

vocia? 
Quisnam putidiat (hie) Mtrsait Yanki- 

nimicos, 
Sspins aut dedit nltro datam et broke 

his parolam ? 
Mente inquassatas aoUdlqoe, ^lanno 

minante, 
Horriaonis (hie) bombb moenia et alta 

qaatente, 100 

Seae promptum (hie) Jactans Yankee 

lickere centum, 
Atqne ad lastum inrictiia non earrendi- 

dit unquani 7 
£q|po hand meddlite, poeco, iniqiie re- 

linnuite (hie) hoc job^ 
Si non — knifumque enorroem moetrat 

spittatque tremendus. 
Dixerat : aat alii reliqnorant et eine 

pause Iflft 

Pluggos incumbunt maxiUia, aterqne 

vicissini 
Certamine innocuo valde madidam in- 

quinat assem : 
Tjlerua antem, dumqne liqaorat aridtu 

hostis, 
Mirum anpieit duplumqne bibentem, 

astante Lywo ; 
Ardens impaviduaque edidit tamen im- 

pia verba ; iio 

Duplum qnamris te aspido, eeses atqne 

viginti, 
Mendaceni dicerem totumque (hie) 

thrasherem acervum ; 
Kenipe et thrashani, doggonatns (hie) 

sim nisi faxem; 
Lambastabo omnes eatawompoeiter-(hie) 

que chawam ! 
Dixit et impulsus Ryeo rultur bene ti- 

tus, llA 

IIU nam gravidam capat et lateran 

habet in hatto. 
Hunc inhiat titubansque PolarduSi 

optat et ilium 
Btickere iuermem, protegit autem rite 

LyseuB, 
Et pronos geminos, oeulis dubitantibiii, 

heros 
Cemit et trritns hoetes, dnmqne exeogi- 

tat utnim 190 

Primum inpitcliere, comiity inter ntroa- 

que recuinbit, 
Magno asino siniilis nimio sub pondere 

quassus : 



Colemanus hoe meestna, triete ramini 

que solamen, 
Inspidt hiocana, cinnunspittat terqne 

cubantes ; 
Fnnereiaane hia ritiboa hnmidia inde 

aofutia, i¥* 

Stemitor, invalidoeqne Oiia snperincidit 

infana ; 
Hoe aepelit aoranus et snomnt eomis(»* 

nantea, 
Watehmauna inecaoa aet • 

leponit. 

No. IX. 

[Thb Editors of the "Atlantic*' have 
received so many letters of inquiry con- 
cerning the literary remains of the late Mr. 
Wilbur, mentioaea by his oolleagne and 
suocenor. Rev. Jedittnan Hitchcock, in a 
communication from which we made some 
extracts in our number for February, 18^ 
and have been so repeatedly uiged to print 
some part of them for the gratification of 
the public, that they fdt it their duty at 
least to make some effort to aatiafy ao ur- 
gent a demand. Tliey have accordingly 
carefully examined the papers intrusted to 
them, bitt find most of the productiona of 
Mr. Wilbur's pen so fragmentary, and even 
ehaotic, written aa they are on the hmekM 
of letters in an exceedingly cramped chi- 
rpgraphy, — here a memorandum for a «er- 
mon ; there an obaervation of the weather ; 
now the measurement of an extrsonhnary 
head of cablwge, and then of the cervhnl 
capacity of some reverend brother deceased ; 
a calm inquiry into the state of moiiem 
literature, emting in a method of detecttDg 
if milk l<e impoverisheil with water, and 
the amount thereof; one leaf beginniitt 
with a genealogy, to be interrupteil halT 
way down with an entry that the brindle 
cow had calved, — that any attempts at 
selection seemed desperate. H is on] y com- 
plete work, " An Enquiry concerning the 
Tenth Horn of the Beast,** ei'en in the ab- 
stract of it given by Mr. Hitchcock, woald, ' 
by a rough computation of the printers, 
fill five entire numbers of our journal, ami 
as he attempts, by a new application of 
dedmal fractions, to identify it with the 
Emperor Julian, seems hanlly of immedi- 
ate concern to the general reaiier. Even 
the Table-Talk, thongh doubtless origi- 
nally highly interesting in the domestic 
circle, is so largely made up of theological 
discussion and matters of local or preterite 
interest, that we have found it hard to ex- 
tract anything that would at all satisfy 
expectation. But, in order to ailenoe fur- 



I 
I 



THE BIGLOW PAPEBS. 



283 



I 



1 



I 



I 

L 



ther inqairy, w« mibjoiti % few pttatiM m 
fllostrations of its general character.] 

I think I oonld go near to be a perfect 
Christian if I were always a vidto^ as I 
have sometimes been, at the honse of some 
hospitable friend* I can show a great deal 
of self-denial where the best of everything 
Ia urged upon roe with kindly importunity. 
]t is not so very hard to turn the other 
cheek for a kiss. And when I meditate 
upon the pains taken for our entertain- 
ment in this life, on the endless vaiiety of 
seasons, of hitman character and fortune, 
on the costliness of the hangings and fur- 
niture of our dwelling here, I sometimes 
feel a singular joy in looking upon myself 
as God*s giie^it, and cannot but believe that 
we should all be wiser and happier, be- 
cause more grateful, if we were always 
Biindful of our privilege in this regard. 
And ahoold we not rete more cheaply any 
honor that men could pay us, if we remem- 
bered that every day we sat at the table of 
the Great King ? i et must we not foiget 
that we are in strictest bonds His servants 
also ; for there is no mipiety so abiect as 
that which expects to be iieaeUieaaed {ui 
ita dioam) through life, and which, calling 
itself trust in Providence, is in reality ask- 
ing Providence to trust us and taking up 
all our goods on false pretences. It is a 
wise rule to take the worid as we find it, 
not always to leave it so. 

It has often set me thinking when I find 
that 1 can always pick up plenty of empty 
nuts uiMler my shagbark-tree. The squir- 
rels know them by their lightness, and I 
have iseldom seen one with the marks of 
their teeth in it. What a school-house is 
the world, if our wits would only not play 
truant ! For I observe that men set most 
store by forms and svmbols in proportion 
«A they are mere shells. It is tne outside 
they want ami not the kernel. What stores 
of such do not many, who in material 
things are as shrevrd as the squirrels, lay 
up for the spiritual winter-sapply of them- 
selves and their children ! i have seen 
churches that seemed to me gamers of these 
withered nuts, for it is wonderful how pro- 
saic is the apprehension of symbols by the 
minds of most men. It is not one sect nor 
another, but all, who, like the dog of the 
fable, have let drop the spiritual substance 
of symbols for their material shadow. If 
one attribute miraculons virtues to mere 
holy water, that Ijeautiful emblem of in- 
ward purification at the door of God's house, 
another cannot comprehend the significanoe 
of baptinu without Deiiig ducked over head 
and ears in the liquid vetude thereof. 



[Perhaps a word of historical comment 
may be i>ermitted here. My late revered 
predecessor was^ I would humbly afllrm, 
as free from prejudice as falls to the lot of 
the most highly favored individuals of our 
suecies. To be sure, I have heard him say 
tnat, " what were called strong prejudices, 
were in fact only the repulsion of sensitive 
oiganiutions from that moral and even 
physical elfluvium through which some 
natures by providential appointment, like 
certain unsavory quadrnpells, «ive wam- 
iuff of their neighborhood. Better ten 
mistaken suspicions of this kind than one 
close encounter.*' Thii he sai<l somewhat 
in heat, on being questioned as to his mo- 
tives for always reinsing his pulpit to those 
itinerant professors of vicarious benevo- 
lence who end their discourses by taking 
up a collection. But at another time I 
remember his saying, '' that there was one 
laige thing which small minds always found 
room for, and that was great prejudices.** 
This, however, by the way. Tne state- 
ment which I purposed to make was simply 
this. Down to a. O. 1830, Jsalam had 
consisted of a single parish, with one honse 
set apart for religious services. In that 
year the foundations of a Baptist Society 
were laid by the labors of Elder Joash Q. 
Balcom, 2iL As the members of the new 
body were dravm from the First Parish, 
Mr. Wilbur was for a time considerably 
exercised in mind. He even went so far 
as on one occasion to follow the reprehen- 
sible practice of the earlier Puritan divines 
in choosing a punning text, and preached 
from Hebrews xiiL 9: **Be not carried 
about with divert and strange doctrines." 
He afterwards^ in accordance with one of 
his own maxims, — " to get a dead injury 
out of the mind as soon as is decent, bury 
it, and then ventilate," — in accordance 
vrith this maxim, I say, he lived on very 
friendly terms with Rev. Sheanashub 
Scrimgour, present pastor of the Baptist 
Society in JaaUun. Yet I think it was 
never unpleasing to him that the church 
edifice of that society (though otherwise a 
creditable specimen of architecture) re- 
mained without a bell, as imieed it does to 
this day. So much seemed necessary to 
do away with any appearance of acerbity 
toward a respectable community of pro- 
fessing Christians, which uiiglit be sus- 
pected in the conclusion of the above para- 
graph. — J. U.] 



In lighter moods he was not averse from 
an innocent play upon words. Looking 
up from his newspaper one momine as I 
entered his study be said. " When I read 
a debate in Congress, I led as if 1 wen 



« 



284 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



sitting at the feet of Zeno in the shadow 
of the Portico." On mv expn^stng a nat- 
ural surprise, he added, smiling, ''Why, 
at such times the only view which honora- 
ble members give me of what goes on in 
the world is through their iutercahimnia- 
tions." I smiled at this after a moment's 
reflection, and he added gravely, "Tlie 
most punctilious refinement of manners is 
the only salt that will keep a democracy 
from stinking ; and what are we to expect 
from the people, if their representatives 
set them such lessons? Mr. Everett's 
whole life has been a sermon from this 
text. There was, at least, this advantage 
in duelling, that it set a certain limit on 
the ton^ie." In this connection, I may 
be permitted to recall a playful remark of 
his upon another occasion. The painful 
divisions in the First Parish, a. d. 1844, 
occasioned by the wild notions in respect 
to the rights of (what Mr. Wilbur, so far 
as concerned the reasoning faculty, always 
called) the unfairer part of creation, put 
forth bv Miss Parthenia Almira Fitz, are 
too well known to need more than a pass- 
ing allusion. It was during these heats, 
long since happily allayed, that Mr. Wil- 
bur remarked that " the Church had more 
trouble in dealing with one sAeresiarch 
than with twenty ^resiarchs,** and that 
the men's conscia recti, or certainty of be- 
ing right, was nothing to the women's. 

When I once asked his opinion of a po- 
etical composition on which I had expended 
no little pains, he read it attentively, and 
then remarked, ** Unless one's thought pack 
more neatly in verse than in prose, it is 
wiser to refrain. Commonplace gains noth- 
ing by being translated into rhyme, for it 
is something which no hocus-pocus can 
transubstantiate with the real presence of 
living thought. You entitle your piece, 
'My Mother's Grave,' and expend four 
pages of useful paper in detailing your 
emotions there. But, my dear sir, water- 
ing does not improve the qnality of ink, 
even though you should do it with tears. 
To publish a sorrow to Tom, Dick, and 
Harry is in some sort to advertise its unre- 
ality, for I have observed in my intercourse 
with the afflicted that the deepest grief in- 
stinctively hides its face with its hands 
and is silent. If your piece were printed, 
I have no doubt it would be popular, for 
people like to fancy that they <eel much 
better than the trouble of feeling. I would 
put all poets on oath whether they have 
striven to say everything they passibly 
could think of, or to leave out all they 
could not help saying. In your own case, 
my worthy young friend, what you have 



written Is mereV a deliberate exercise, the 
flrymnastic of sentiment. For your excel- 
lent maternal relative is still alive, and is 
to take tea vrith me this evening, D. V. Be- 
ware of simulated feeling ; it is hypocrisy's 
first cousin ; it is especially dangerous to 
a preacher ; for he wno says one <Uy, ' Go 
to, let roe seem to be pathetic,' may be 
nearer than he thinks to saying, ' Go to, 
let me seem to be virtuous, or earnest, or 
under sorrow for sin.' Depend upon it, 
Sappho loved her verses more sincerely than 
she did Phaon, and Petnrch his sonnets 
better than Laura, who was indeed but his 
poetical stalking-horse. After you shall 
nave once heard that muflled rattle of the 
clods on the cofiin-lid of an irreparable lo<^ 
you will grow acquainted with a pathos 
that will make all elegies hateful. When 
I Was of your age, I also for a time mistook 
my desire to write verses for an authentic 
call of my nature in that direction. Bnt 
one day as I was going forth for a walk, 
with my head full of an 'El^y on the 
Death of Flirtilla,' and vainly groping after 
a rh vme for lily that should not be sUiy or 
chilly, I saw my eldest boy Homer bnsy 
over therain-wal^r hogshead, in that chiM- 
ish experiment at parthenogenesis, the 
chanppng a horse-hair into a water-snake. 
An immersion of six weeks showed no 
change in the obstinate filament. Here 
was a stroke of unintended sarcasm. Had 
I not been doing in my study precisely 
what my boy was doing out of doors'? 
Bad my thoughts any more chance of com- 
ing to life by being submei^^ in rhyme 
than his hair by soaking in water? I 
burned my el^y and took a course of Ed- 
wards on the Will. People do not make 
poetry ; it is made out of them by a pro- 
cess for which I do not find myself fitted. 
Nevertheless, the writing of verses is a 
good rhetorical exercitation, as teaching us 
what to shun most carefully in prose. For 

Erose bewitched is like window-glass with 
ubbles in it, distorting what it should 
show with pellucid veracity." 

It is unwise to insist on doctrinal points 
as vital to religion. The Bread of Life 
is wholesome and sufficing in itself, but 
gulped down with these kick-shaws cooked 
up oy theologians, it is apt to produce an 
indigestion, nay, even at last an incurable 
dyspepsia of scepticism. 

One of the most inexcusable weaknesses 
of Americans is in signing their names to 
what are called credentials. But for my 
interposition, a person who shall be name- 
less would have taken from this town a 
reconmieudation for an office of trust sub- 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



285 



scribed by the selectmen and all the voters 
of both parties, ascribing to him as many 
good qualities as if it had been his tomb- 
stone. The excuse was that it would be 
well for the town to be ri<l of him, as it 
woald erelong be obliged to maintain him. 
I would not refuse my name to modest 
merit, but 1 would be as cautious as in sign- 
ing a bond. [I tnist I shall be subjected 
to no imputation of \in becoming vanity. 
if I mention the fact that Mr. W. indorseu 
my own aualitications as teacher of the 
high-school at Pec^nash Junction. J. H.] 
Vylien I see a certificate of character with 
everybody's name to it, I regard it as a 
letter of introduction from the Devil. 
Never give a man your name unless you are 
willing to tnist him with your reputation. 

There seem nowadays to be two sources 
of literarj' inspiration, — fulness of mind 
and emptiness of pocket. 



I am often struck, especially in reading 
Montaigne, with the ooviousness and fa- 
miliarity of a great writer's thoughts, and 
the freshness they gain because said by 
him. The tnith is, we mix their greatness 
with all thev' say and give it our best at- 
tention. Johannes Faber sic oogitavit, 
j would be no enticing preface to a book, 
but an accredited name nves credit like 
the signature of a note of liand. Tt is the 
advantage of fame that it is always priv- 
ileged to take the world by the button, 
and a thing is weightier for Shakespeare's 
uttering it by the whole amount of his 
personality. 

It is singular how impatient men are 
with overpraise of others, how patient 
with overpraise of themselves ; and yet the 
one does them no ixyury, whUe the other 
may be their ruin. 

People are apt to confound mere alert- 
ness of mind with attention. The one is 
but the Hying abroad of all the faculties 
to the open doors and windows at every 
passing rumor ; the other is the concen- 
tration of every one of them in a sin- 
gle focns, as in the alchemist over his 
alembic at the moment of expected pro- 
jection. Attention is the stun that mem- 
ory is made of, and memory is accumu- 
lated genius. 

Do not look for the Millennium as im- 
minent. One generation is apt to get all 
the wear it can out of the cast clothes of 
the last, and is always sure to use up ever^ 
|Milin^ of the old fence that will hold a nail 
in building the new. 



You suspect a kind of vanity in my 
genealogical enthusiasm. Perhaps you are 
right ; but it is a universal foible. Where it 
does not show itself in a personal and pri- 
vate way, it becomes public and grranirious. 
We flatter ourselves in the Pilgrim Fathers, 
and the Virginian oflshdOt of a transported 
convict swells with the fancy of a cavalier 
ancestry. Pride of birth, I have noticed, 
takes two forms. One complacently traces 
himself up to a coronet ; another, deDantl v, 
to a lapstone. The sentiment is prerisely 
the same in both cases, only that one is 
the positive and the other the negative 
pole of it. 

Seeing a goat the other day kneeling in 
order to graze with less trouble, it seemed 
to me a tvpe of the common notion of 
prayer. Most people are ready enough to 

f^o down on their knees for material bless- 
ngs, but how few for those spiritual gifts 
which alone are an answer to our orisons, 
if we but knew it 1 

Some people, nowadays, seem to have 
hit upon a new moralization of the moth 
and tne candle. They would lock up the 
light of Truth, lest poor Psyche should 
put it out in her effort to draw nigh to it. 



No. X. 



MR H06EA BIGLOW TO THE EDITOR 
OF THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY. 

Dear Sir, — Your letter come to ban* 

Requestin* me to please be funny ; 
But I ain't made upon a plan 
Thet knows wut 's comin', gall or 
honey : 
Tber' *s times the world dooe look so 
aneer, 
Odd fancies come afore I call 'em ; 
An' then agin, for half a year, 
No preacher 'thout a call 's more 
solemn. 

You 're 'n want o' aunthin' light an' cute, 

Rattlin' an' shrewd an' kin' o' jingle- 
ish. 
An' wish, pervidin' it 'ould suit, 

I 'd take an' citify my English. 
I ken write long-tailed, ef I please, — 

But when I 'm jokin', no, I thankee ; 
Then, 'fore 1 know it, my idees 

Run helter-skelter into Yankee. 



284 



THE BIGLOW PAFBS8. 



1 



sitting at the feet of Zeno in the ehadow 
of the Portico.'* On my exprening a nat- 
ural surpriae, he added, Bmiliug, "Why, 
at such timea the only view which honora- 
ble members give me of what goes on in 
the world is throngh their iutercalnmnia- 
tions.** 1 smiled at this after a moment's 
reflection, and he added gravely, ''The 
most punctilious refinement of manners is 
the onlv salt that will keep a democnusy 
from stinking ; and what are we to ez^t 
from the people, if their representatives 
set them snch lessons? Mr. Everett*s 
whole life has been a sermon from this 
text Thera was, at least, this advantage 
in duelling, that it set a certain limit on 
the ton^ie." In this connection, I may 
be permitted to recall a playful remark of 
his upon another occasion. The painful 
divisions in the First Parish, ▲. D. 1844, 
occasioned by the wild notions in respect 
to the rights of (what Mr. Wilbur, so far 
as concerned the reasoning faculty^ always 
called) the unfairer part of creation, put 
forth bv Miss Parthenia Almira Fitz, are 
too well known to need more than a pass- 
ing allusion. It was during these heats, 
long since happily allayed, that Mr. Wil- 
bur remarked that " the Cnurch had more 
trouble in dealing witli one M«resiarch 
than with twenty A^resiarchs,** and that 
the men's eoMcia reciif or certainty of be- 
ing right, was nothing to the women's. 

When I once asked his opinion of a po- 
etical composition on which I had expended 
no little pains, he read it attentively, and 
then remarked, ** Unless one's thought pack 
more neatly in verse than in prose, it is 
wiser to refrain. Commonplace gains noth- 
ing by being translated into rhyme, for It 
is something which no hocus-pocus can 
transubstantiate with the real presence of 
living thought You entitle your piece, 
'My Mother's Grave,* and expend four 
pages of useful paper in detailing your 
emotions there. But, my dear sir, water- 
ing does not improve the quality of ink, 
even though you should do it with tears. 
To publish a sorrow to Tom, Dick, and 
Harry is in some sort to advertise its nnre- 
alitv, Tor I have observe^l in my intercourse 
with the afflicted that the deepest grief in- 
stinctively hides its face with its hands 
and is silent If your piece were printed, 
I have no donbt it would be popular, for 
people like to fancy that they feel much 
better than the trouble of feeling. I would 
put all poets on oath whether they have 
striven to say everything they possibly 
could think of, or to leave out all they 
could not help saying. In your own case, 
my worthy young friend, what you have 



written is merel)' a deliberate exercise, the 
gymnastic of sentiment. For your excel- 
lent matenial relative is still alive, and is 
to take tea with me this evening, D. V. Be- 
ware of simulated feeling ; it is hypocrisy's 
first cousin ; it is especially datigerona to 
a preacher ; for he wno says one day, ' Go 
to, let me seem to be pathetic,* may be 
nearer than he thinks to 8a>-ing, 'Go to, 
let me seem to be virtuous, or earnest, or 
under sorrow for sin.* Depend upon it, 
Sappho loved her verses more sincerely than 
she did Phaon, and Petmrch his sonnets 
better than Laura, who was indeed but his 
poetical stalking-norse. After you sliall 
nave once heanl that muffled rattle of the 
clods on the coffin-lid of an irreparable lofss, 
you will grow acquainted with a pathos 
that will make all elegies hateful. When 
I was of your age, I also for a time mistook 
my desire to write verses for an authentic 
call of my nature in that direction. But 
one day as I was going forth for a walk, 
with my head full of an ' Elegy on the 
Death of Flirtilla,* and vainly groping after 
a rhyme for Uly that should not be stUy or 
chiuy. I saw my eldest boy Homer busy 
over tne rain-wa^r hogshead, in that child- 
ish experiment at parthenogenesis, the 
changing a horse-hair into a water-snake. 
An inimersion of six weeks showed no 
change in the obstinate filament Here 
was a stroke of onintended sarcasm. Had 
I not been doing in my study precisely 
what my boy was doing out of doors? 
Had mv thoughts any more chance of com- 
ing to life by being submer^ in rhyme 
than his hair by soaking m water? I 
burned my el^y and took a courM of Ed- 
wards on the will. People do not make 
poetry ; it is made out of them by a pro- 
cess for which I do not find myself fitted. 
Nevertheless, the writing of verses is a 
good rhetorical exercitation, as teaching us 
what to shun most carefully in prose. For 

Erose bewitched is like wiudow-^lass with 
ubbles in it, distorting what it should 
show with pellucid veracity.'* 

It is unwise to insist on doctrinal points 
as vital to religion. The Bread of Life 
is wholesome and sufficing in itself, bat 
gulped down with these kick-shaws cooked 
up by theologians, it is apt to produce an 
indigestion, nay, even at last an incurable 
dyspepsia of scepticism. 

One of the most inexcusable weaknesses 
of Americans is in signing their names to 
what are called credentials. But for mj 
interposition, a person who shall be name- 
less would have taken from this town a 
recommendation for an office of trust aub- 



I 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



285 



flcribed bj the selectmen and all the voters 
of both parties, ascribing to him as many 
good qualities as if it had been his tomb- 
stone. The excuse was that it would be 
well for the town to be rid of him, as it 
would erelong be obliged to maintain him. 
I would not refuse my name to modest 
merit, but I would be as cautious as in sign- 
ing a bond. [I tnist I shall be subjected 
to no imputation of unbecoming vanity, 
if I mention the fact that Mr. W. indorsea 
my own qualifications as teacher of the 
high -school at Pec^uash Jnnction. J. U.] 
When I see a certificate of chai'acter with 
everybody's name to it, I regard it as a 
letter of introduction from the Devil. 
Never give a man your name unless you are 
willing to trust him with your reputation. 

There seem nowadays to be two sources 
of literary inspiration, — fiUness of mind 
and emptiness of pocket. 

I am often stmck, especially in reading 
Montaigne, with the ooviousness and fa- 
miliarity of a great writer's thoughts, and 
the freshness they gain because said by 
him. The truth is, we mix their greatness 
with all they say and give it our best at- 
tention. Johannes Faber sic cogitavit, 
would be no enticing preface to a book, 
but an accredited name gives credit like 
the signature of a note of hand. Tt is the 
advantage of fame that it is always priv- 
ileged to take the world by the button, 
and a thing is weightier for Shakespeare's 
uttering it by the whole amount of his 
personality. 

It is singular how impatient men are 
with overpraise of others, how patient 
with overpraise of themselves ; and yet the 
one does them no ii^jury, while the other 
may be their ruin. 

People are a^t to confound mere alert- 
ness of mind with attention. The one is 
but the flying abroad of all the faculties 
to the open doors and windows at every 
passing rumor ; the other is the concen- 
tration of every one of them in a sin- 
gle focus, as in the alchemist over his 
alembic at the moment of expected pro- 
jection. Attention is the stun that mem- 
ory' is made of, and memory is accumu- 
lated genius. 

Do not look for the Millennium aa im- 
minent. One generation is apt to get all 
the wear it can out of the cast clothes of 
the last, and is always sure to use up everv 
paling of the old fence that will hold a nail 
ux building the new. 



Yon suspect a kind of vanity in my 
genealogical enthusiasm. Perhaps you are 
right ; but it is a universal foible. Where it 
does not show itself in a personal and pri- 
vate way, it becomes public and grwarions. 
We flatter ourselves in the Pilgrim Fathers, 
and the Viivinian offshoot of a transported 
convict swells with the fancy of a cavalier 
ancestry. Pride of birth, I have noticed, 
takes two forms. One complacently traces 
himself up to a coronet ; another, defiantl v, 
to a Ia})stone. The sentiment is prerisely 
the same in both cases, only that one is 
the positive and the other the n^ative 
pole of it. 

Seeing a goat the other day kneeling in 
order to graze with less trouble, it seemed 
to me a tvpe of the common notion of 
prayer. Most people are ready enough to 
^o down on their knees for material bless- 
mg&, but how few for those spiritual gifts 
which alone are an answer to our orisons, 
if we but knew it I 

Some people, nowadays, seem to have 
hit upon a new moralization of the moth 
and tne candle. They would lock up the 
light of Truth, lest poor Psyche should 
put it out in her effort to draw nigh to it. 



No. X. 



MR. H08EA BIGLOW TO THK EDITOR 
OF THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY. 

Dear Sir, — Your letter come to ban' 

Requestin' me to please be funny ; 
But I ain't made u^wn a plan 
Thet knows wut 'a comin', gall or 
honey : 
Thei^ *s times the world doos look so 
queer, 
Odd fancies come afore I call *em ; 
An' then agin, for half a year, 
No preacher 'thout a call *s more 
solemn. 

Yon 're 'n want o' sunthin' light an' cute, 

Rattlin' an' shrewd an' kin' o' jingle- 
ish. 
An' wish, pervidin* it *ould suit, 

I 'd take an' citify my English. 
I ken write long-tailed, ef I please, — 

But when I 'm jokin', no, 1 thankee ; 
Then, 'fore 1 know it, my idees 

Run helter-skelter into Yankee. 



. 9 



# • • 



• ; 



,I,K 



•■•"•'■'• LIBRAKY 

ASTOR, LENOX 
TILDhN POUNUATIONI 



THE BIGLOW PAPES& 



287 



Or np the slippery knob I strain 

An' see a hundred hills like islan's 
Lift their blue woods in broken chain 

Ont o* the sea o* snowy silence ; 
The faim-smokes, sweetes* sight on 
airth. 

Slow thm the winter air a-shriukin' 
Seem kin' o' sad, an' roan' the hearth 

Of empty places set me thinkin*. 

Bearer roars hoarse with meltin* snows. 

An' rattles di'mon's from his granite ; 
Time wnz, he snatched away my prose» 

An' into psalms or satires ran it ; 
Bnt he, nor all the rest thet once 

Started my blood to countir-daneesy 
Can't set me jgoin' more 'n a dunce 

Thet haint no use ibr dreams an' 
fancies. 



Rat-tat-tat-tattle thru the street 

I hear the drummers makin' riot, 
An' I set thinkin' o' the feet 

Thet follered once an' now are quiets — 
White feet ez snowdrons innercent, 

Thet never knowed tne paths o' Satan, 
Whose oomin' step ther 's ears thet 
won't, 

No, not lifelong; leave off awaitin'. 

Why, hain't 1 held 'em on my knee? 

Did n't I love to see 'em growin'. 
Three likely lads ez wal comd be, 

Hahnsome an' brave an' not tn 
knowin' f 
I set an' look into the blase 

Whose natar', jes' like theim, keeps 
climbin', 
£i long 'z it lives, in shinin* ways, 

An' half despise myself for rhymin*. 

Wnt's words to them whose faith an' 
truth 

On War's red techstone rang true 
metal. 
Who ventered life an' love an' youth 

For the gret prize o' death in battle? 
To him who, dmdly hurt, agen 

Flashed on afore the chaive's thunder, 
Tippin' with dre the bolt of men 

Tnet rived the Rebel line asunder? 

T ain't right to hev the young go fust. 
All throbbin' full o' gifts an graces, 

Loivin' life's paupers (uv ez dust 
To trv an make blieve fill their 
places: 



Nothin* but tells us wut we miss, 
Ther* 's gaps our lives can't never fay 
in, 

An' thet world seems so fur from this 
Lef * for us loafers to grow gray in I 

My ejes cloud up for rain ; my mouth 

Will take to twitchin' roun' the cor- 
ners; 
I pity mothers, tq, down South, 

Tor all thev sot among the seomers : 
1 'd sooner take my chance to stan' 

At Jedgment where your meanest 
slave is. 
Than at God's bar hoi' up a han' 

£z drippin' red ez youm, Jeff Davis ! 

Come, Peace I not like a mourner bowed 

For honor lost an* dear ones wasted. 
But proad, to meet a people proud. 

With eyes thet tell o' tnnmph tastted ! 
Come, with han' grippin' on tne hilt. 

An' step thet proves ye Victory's 
daughter ! 
Lonffin' for you, our sperits wilt 

like shipwrecked men's on raf 's for 
water. 

Come, while onr country feels the lift 

Of a gret instinct shoutin' forwards, 
An' knows thet freedom ain't a gift 

Thet tarries long in ban's o' cowards ! 
Come, sech ez mothers prayed for, when 

They kissed their cross with lips thet 
quivered. 
An' bring fair wages for brave men, 

A nation saved, a race delivered I 



No. XI. 



MR. HOSEA BIOLOWS SPEECH IN 
MARCH MEETING. 

TO TBI SDITOR OF THE ATLANTIC 
MOKTHLT. 

Jaalam, April 6, 1868. 

Mt dear Sib, — 

(an' Dotidn* by your kiver thet you *re 
some dearer than wut yon wuz, I enclose 
the deffrenoe) I danno ez I know jest how 
to interdroce this las' perdnction of my 
mews, ez Pamon Willber alius called 'em, 
which is goin' to be the last an' stay the 
last onXens sunthin' pertikler sh'd interfear 
which I don't expec ner I wua't yield tu 



288 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



ef it wnz ez pretwin* ez a deppity Shiriff. 
Sence Mr. Wilbur's disease I nev n't heil 
no one thet could dror out my talons. 
He ust to kind o* wine me up an' set the 
penderluni agoin* an' then somehow I 
seemed to go on tick as it wear tell I run 
down, but the noo minister ain't of the 
same brewin' nor I can't seem to git ahold 
of no kine of burning nater in him but sort 
of slide rite off as you du on the eedge of 
a mow. Minnysteeril nator iswal enough 
an* a site better 'n most other kines I 
know on, but the other sort sech as Wel- 
bor bed wuz of the Loni's makin' an* nat- 
erally more wondertle an' sweet tastin' 
leastways to me so fur as heerd from. He 
used to interdooce 'em smooth ez ile 
athont say in' nothin' in pertickler an' I 
misdoubt he did n't set so much by the 
sec'nd Ceres as wtit he done by the Fust, 
fact, he let on onct thet his rome misgive 
him of a sort of fallin' off in spots. He 
wuz as outspoken as a norwester he wuz, 
but I tole him I hoped the fall wuz from 
so high up thet a feUer could ketch a good 
many times fust afore comin* bunt onto 
the ground as I see Jethro C. Swett from 
the meetin' house steeple up to th* oM 
perrish, an' took up for dead but he 's 
alive now an' spry as wut you be. Turn- 
in' of it over I recclected how they ust to 
})ut ¥rut they called Argymunce onto the 
runts of poynins, like poorches afore 
housen whare you could rest ye a s^iell 
whilst you wuz concludin* whether you 'd 
go in or nut espeshully ware tha wuz dar- 
ters, though 1 most alius found it the best 
plen to go in fust an' think afterwards an' 
the gals likes it best tu. 1 dno as speechis 
ever hez anv argimunts to 'em, I never see 
none thet hed an' I guess they never du 
but tha must alius be a B'ginnin* to everv- 
thin' athout it is Etamity so I '11 begin 
rite away an' anybody may put it afore 
any of his speeches ef it soots an' welcome. 
I don't claim no paytent. 

THE ARGTMUNT. 

Interducshin, w'ich may be skipt. Be- 
gins by Ulkin' about himself : thet 's jest 
natur an' moat gin'ally alius pleasin', I 
b'leeve I *ve notist, to one of the cumpany, 
an* thet 's more than wut you can say of 
most speshes of talkin'. Nex' comes the 
gittin' the goodwill of the orjunce by let- 
tin' 'em getner from wut you kind of ex'- 
dentally let drop thet they air about East, 
A one, an' no mistaik, skare 'em up an' 
take 'em as they rise. Spring interdooced 
with a fiew approput flours. Speach 
finally begins witch nobuddy need n t feel 
obolygated to read as I never read 'em an' 



never shell this one ag'in. Snhjick staited ; 
expanded ; dela^'ted ; extended. Pump 
lively. Subjick staited ag'in so *s to avicle 
all inistaiks. Ginule remarks; contin- 
ooed ; kerried on ; pushed furder ; kind o' 
gin out. Subjick re-staited; dielooted; 
stirred up permiscoous. Pump ag'in. 
Oits back to where he sot out. Can^t 
seem to stay thair. Ketches into Mr. Sea- 
ward's hair. Breaks loose ag'in an* staits 
his subjick ; stretches it ; turns it ; folds 
it ; on folds it ; fokls it i^'in so *s *t no one 
can't find it. Aigoos with an imedginary 
bean thet ain't aloud to say nothin' in re- 
pleye. Gives him a real good dressin* an* 
IS settyshde he 's rite. Gits into Johnson's 
hair. No use tryin' to git into his heatL 
Gives it up. Hez to stait his subjick 
ag'in ; doos it back'ards, sideways, eeii«l- 
ways, criss-cross, bevellin*, noways. Gits 
finally red on it Concloods. Concloods 
more. Reads some xtraz. Se^ hi<s huI^- 
jick a-nosiu' round arter him a^'in. Tries 
to avide it. Wun't du. Juis^taXes it. 
Can't oonjectur* no other plawsable way of 
sta>'tin* on it. Tries pump. No fx. Fine- 
ly concloods to concloorl. Yeels the flore. 

You kin spall an' punctooate thet as 
you please. 1 alius do, it kind of puts a 
noo soot of close onto a word, thisere fun- 
attick spellin' doos an' takes 'em out of 
the prissen dress they wair in the IXxon- 
ary. Ef I squeeze tne cents out of *em 
it 's the main thing, an* wut they wnz 
made for ; wut 's left 's jest pnmmis. 

Mistur Wilbur sez he to me onct, sez 
he. "Hosee." sez he, "in litterytoor the 
only good tning is Natur. It 's amadn' 
hara to come at," sez he, " but ouct git it 
an' you 've gut everythin*. Wut 's the 
sweetest small on airth ? " sez he " Noo- 
mone hay,*' sez I, pooty bresk, for he w\u 
alius hankerin* round in hayin*. " Naw- 
thin* of the kine," sez he "My leetle 
Huldy's breath," sez I ag'in. «« Yoii 're 
a good lad," sez he, his eyes sort of ripplin' 
like, for he lost a babe onct nigh about 
her age, — "you're a goal lad; but *t 
ain't tnet nuther," sez he. "Ef you want 
to know," sez he, "ojien your winder of a 
moniin* et arv season, ami you *1I lani 
thet tlie best of perfooms is jest fresh air, 
fresh air,** sez ne, emphysiiin', ** al4iont 
no nuxtur. Tliet 's wut / call natur in 
writin', and it bathes my lungs and washes 
'em sweet whenever I git a whiff on 't,*^ 
sez he. I offen think o' thet when 1 set 
down to write, but the winders air to ept 
to git stuck, an' breakiu* a pane costs 
sunthin*. 

Youni for the last time, 

^ut to be continooed, 

UOSBA BlGLOW. 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



289 



I dox't ronch s'poae, hows'erer I should 
* plen it, 

I coiud git boosted into th* House or 

Sennit, — 
Nut wMle the twolegged gab-machine 's 

80 plenty, 
'nablin' one man to du the talk o* 

twenty; 
I 'm one o' them thet finds it ruther 

hard 
To mannyfactnr* wisdom by the yard. 
An' nmysure off, accordin* to demand, 
The piece-goods el'kence that I keep on 

nand. 
The same ole pattern nmnin' thru an' 

thru. 
An' nothin' but the customer thet *s 

new. 
I sometimes think, the furder on I go, 
Thet it gits harder to feel sure I know. 
An* when 1 *ve settled my idees, I find 
't wam't I sheered most in makin' up 

my mind ; 
't woz this an' thet an' t' other thing 

thet done it, 
Snnthin* in th' air, I could n' seek nor 

shun it. 
Moe' folks go off so quick now in dis- 
cussion, 
All th' ole flint locks seems altered to 

percussion. 
Whilst I in agin' sometimes git a hint, 
Thet I *m percussion changin* back to 

flint; 
Wal, ef it 's so, I ain't agoin' to werrit. 
For th* oleQueen's-armhezthispertickler 

merit, — 
It gives the mind a hahnsome wedth o' 

margin 
To kin' o make its will afore dischai^n' : 
I can't make out but jest one ginnle 

rule, — 
No man need go an' make himself a fool, 
Kor jedgment ain't like mutton, thet 

can't bear 
Cookiu' tu long, nor be took up tu rare. 

Ez I wuz say'n', I hain't no chance to 
speak 

So 's T all the country dreads me onct a 
week. 

But I 've consid'ble o* thet sort o' head 

Thet sets to home an' thinks wut mig?U 
be said. 

The sense thet grows an' werrits under- 
neath, 

Comin' belated like your wisdom-teeth, 

19 



An' git so d'kent, sometimes, to my 

gardin 
Thet 1 don' vally public life a fardin'. 
Our Parson AVilbur (blessin's on his 

head!) 
'mongst other stories of ole times he bed. 
Talked of a feller thet rehearsed his 

spreads 
Beforehan' to his rows o' kebbige-heads, 
(Ef 't war n't Demossenes, 1 guess 't wuz 

Sisro,) 
Appealin' fust to thet an' then to this 

row, 
Accordin' ez he thought thet his idees 
Their difiTrunt ev'riges o' brains 'ould 

please ; 
"An\"sez the Parson, "to hit right, 

you must 
Git used to maysurin' your hearers fust ; 
For, take my word for 't, when all 's 

come an' past. 
The kebbige-heads 'U cair the day et 

last ; 
Th' ain't ben a meetin' sence the worl' 

begun 
But they made (raw or biled ones) ten 

to one." 

I 've alius foun' 'em, I allow, sence then 
About ez good for talkin' to ez men ; 
They '11 take edvice, like other folks, to 

keep, 
(To use it 'ould be holdin' on 't tii 

cheap,) 
They listen wal, don* kick up when you 

scold 'em, 
An* ef they 've tongues, hey sense enough 

to hold 'em ; 
Though th* ain't no denger we shall lose 

the breed, 
I gin'Uy keep a score or so for seed. 
An' when my sappiness gits spry in 

spring, 
So 's t my tongue itches to run on full 

swing, 
I fin' 'em ready-planted in March- 

meetin'. 
Warm ez a lyceum-audience in their 

greetin', 
An' pleased to hear my spoutin' frum 

the fence, — 
Comin', ez 't doos, entirely free 'f ex- 
pense. 
This jeax I made the foUerin' observa- 
tions 
Extnimp'ry, like most other trils o' 

patience, 



£90 



TRl fidGLOW PAPEB8. 



An*, no renoften hetti* ntnt expi«w 
To work their abstrac's up into a mem 
£z like th' oridg'nal «e a woodcnt fncinr* 
Thet chokes the life oat like a boy-oon^ 

etrictor, 
I Ve writ 'em ont, an* eo avide all 

Jeal'eiei 
'twixt notisenne o* my own ma* some 

one's else's. 

(X. B. Reporters ^n'lly git a hint 

To make dull oqunesa seem *!!▼« in 

print, 
An', ez I her t' report myself, I mm, 
1 'U put th' applauses when they 'd 

ough* to oome !) 

Mt feller KEBBIOE-HEiJIi^ wbo look 

so green, 
I TOW to mdons thet cf I could dreen 
The world of all its hearers bat jest you, 
'twould leafre 'bout all tha' fis wnth 

Ulkin* to, 
An' yoa, my ven'able el* Men's, thet slum 
Upon your crowns a sprinklin o* March 

snow, 
£z ef mild Time had christened every 

sense 
Tijf wisdom's chareh o^ second loaocencc, 
Kut Age's winter, no, no sech a thing, 
But jest a kin* o' slippin'-back o' 

sprinff, — [Seir'rU moms Mowed. J 

We *ve ptnered here, es nshle^ to decide 
Which 18 the Lord's an* which is flatan's 

side, 
Coz all the good or evil thet can heppen 
Is 'long o' which on 'em you choose for 

Cappen. (Crtss •* "Thet *s so rj 

Apml 's come back ; the sweUitt' bads of 

oak 
Dim the for killsUlcs with m porplish 

smoke ; 
The brooks ars looie mi\ singing lo be 

seen, 
(Like gala,) make all the holWra soft an* 

CTeen; 
The uirds ai« here, for all the season 's 

late; 
They Uk« the «m*. height «»• don* 

never wait ; 
Soon 'z he oflkislly declares it 's spring 
Their light hearts lift 'em on a north- 

'aruwingy 
An' th' ain*t an acre, fur ez yon can hear. 
Can't by the music tell the time o' year ; 
But thet white dove Carliny scared away, 



nve year agOy jes' sech an Aprnl day ; 
Peace, that we hoped *onld come an* 

boild last year 
An' coo by every hoosedoor, is n't 

here, — 
No, nor wun*t never be, for all oar jaw. 
Till we're es bmve in pol'tics ez in war! 
O Lord, ef folks wnz made so *s *i tlify 

could see 
The begnet-pint there is to an idee ! 

p*eii««oii.) 
Ten times the daoger in *em tk* I.h in 

steel; 
They run your soul thru an' you never 

feel. 
But crawl abont an* seem to think 

you *re Itvin', 
Poor shells o' men, nut wuth the tx>nrs 

Ibigivitt*^ 
"nil you oome bant ag*in a real live feet. 
An* go to pieces when you *d ocigh* to 

ectl 
Thet kin' o' begnet 's wut we *n cnwain* 

now, 
An* no man, fit to nevngate a seow, 
'oold Stan' expcotia' help from Ungdcoi 

Come, 
WUk t' oih« cide drttT their eold inm 

home. 

My frien's, you never gethcrsd fiom my 

mouth, 
Ko^ mtt one word i^'in the Seuth es 

South, 
Ncr th' ahi't a livin* man, white, In^va, 

nor Mack, 
Gladder 'n wut I should be te take *em 

back ; 
But all I ask of Uncle Sam is feat 
Te write np on his door, " No goods on 

trust ; 

[CriM of " Thet *ii the ticket : 1 1 

Give us cash down in ekle laws for all. 
An* they '11 be sooff inside afore nex' foil. 
Give wut they ask, an' we shell hev 

Jainaker, 
Wuth minus some consid'nble an acre ; 
Give wat they need, an' we ahell gk 

'fore long 
A nation all eae piece, rich, pcneefle, 

strong; 
Make 'em Amerikin, an' they 'II begiii 
To love their country ea they loved uetr 

sin ; 
Let 'em stay Soathnn, an' yoa 've kef^ 

a sore 
Beady to fester ei it done afoiew 






THE NOIOW PAPBB& 



291 



Ktf nettle man ean IxNist of perAc* yiaioii. 
But the one moleblin* thing is Inde- 

eision, 
An* th* sin*t no futur' for the msn nor 

state 
Thet oat of j-n-s-t can't spell great 
8eme folks ^iild call thet reddikle ; do 

yon? 
'T was eomnumsense afore the war was 

thra; 
Thet loaded all oar gons an* made *eni 

speak 
So 's *t Enrope beared 'em deam aerost 

the creek; 
"They 're drivin* o* their spiles down 

now," ses she, 
"To the hard grennit o' God's fast 

idee; 
£f they reach thet, Deraoe'ey need n't 

fear 
The tallest airthquakes we can git np 

liere* 
Some call 't insaltin' to ask ttry pledge, 
An* say 't will only set their teeth on 

edge, 
Bst foUcs yott 'Te jest licked^ far 's I 

ever see, 
Are 'boot ez mad *z they wal know how 

to be; 
It *8 better than the Bebs themselTes 

expected 
'fore they see Uncle Sam wilt down 

henpected; 
Be kind z you please, bat fnstly make 

things fast, 
For plain Troth 's all the kindness thet 

^Ulast; 
£f treason is a crime, ez 9ome folks say. 
How eoald we pnnirii it a milder way 
Than sayin* to 'em, " Brethren, lookee 

here, 
"We '11 jes' divide things with ye, sheer 

an sheer. 
An senee both come o' pooty strong- 
backed daddies. 
Yon take the Darkies, ez we're took 

the Paddies ; 
Ign'ant an' poor we took 'em by the 

hand, 
Ab* they 're the bones an' shiners o' the 

hind." 
I ain't o' them thet fan<7 there 's a loss 

on 
£rery inves'msBt thet don't start from 

Boe'on; 
Bat 1 know tins : onx money 's safest 

trusted I 



In snnthin', come wut wUI, thet etm*t 

be busted. 
An* thet *s the old Aroerikin idee, 
To make a man a Man an* let him be. 

[Grot applante.] 
Ez for their I'yalty, don't take a goad 

to't. 
But I do* want to block their only rood 

to't 
By lettin' 'em believe thet they can git 
Mor 'n wut they lost, out of our little 

wit * 
I tell ye wut, I 'm 'fiuid we '11 driP to 

leeward 
'thout we can put more stiflenin* into 

Seward; 
He seems to think Columbv *d better ect 
Like a scared widder with a boy stiff- 
necked 
Thet stomps an* swears he wun't come 

in to supper ; 
She mus' set up for him, ez weak ez 

Tupper, 
Keepin' the Ck>nstitootion on to warm. 
Tell he '11 eecept her 'pologies in form : 
The neighbors tell her he 's a cross- 
grained cuss 
Thet needs a hidin* 'fore he comes to 

wus; 
**Ko," sez Ha Seward, "he 's ez good 

'z the best. 
All he wants now is sagar-plums an' 

rest"; 
*' He sarsed my Pa," sez one ; " He 

stoned my son/' 
Another edd& " 0, wal, 't wuz jest his 

fun." 
" He tried to shoot onr Uncle Sam well 

dead." 
« 'T wuz only tnrin' a noo ^n he bed." 
" Wal, all we asK *s to hev it understood 
You '11 take his gun away from him for 

good; 
We don't, wal, nut exac'ly^ like his 

play, 
Seein' he alius kin' o' shoots our way. 
You kill your fatted calves to no good 

eend, 
'thout his fust Mjrin', 'Mother, I hev 

sinned ! ' " 

[" Amen 1 ** ftnun Detc'n Qreenleaf. ] 

The Pres'dunt he thinks thet the slick- 
est plan 

'ould be t' allow thet he 's our on'y 
man. 

An' thet we fit thra all thet dreffle war 



284 



THE BIGLOW PAFEBfi. 



sitting at the feet of Zeno in the shadow 
of the Portico." On mv expressing a nat- 
ural surprise, he added^ smiling, "Why, 
at such times the only view which honora- 
ble members give me of what goes on in 
the world is through their iutercalnmnia- 
tions.** I smiled at this after a moment's 
reflection, and he added gravely, "The 
most punctilious refinement of manners is 
the onlv salt that will keep a democracy 
from stinking ; and what are we to expect 
from the people, if their representatives 
set them such lessons? Mr. Everett's 
whole life has been a sermon from this 
text. There was, at least, this advantage 
in duelling, that it set a certain limit on 
the ton^e." In this connection, I may 
be penuitted to recall a playful remark of 
his upon another occasion. The painful 
divisions in the First Parish, a. d. 1844, 
occasioned by the wild notions in respect 
to the rights of (what Mr. Wilbur, so far 
as concerned the reasoning faculty^ always 
called) the unfairer part of creation, put 
forth bv Miss Parthenia Almira Fitz, are 
too well known to need more than a pass- 
ing allusion. It was during these heats, 
long since happily allayed, that Mr. Wil- 
bur remarked that " the Cnureh had more 
trouble in dealing with one «A«resiarch 
than with twenty A^resiarchs," and that 
the men's consda recti, or certainty of be- 
ing right, was nothing to the women's. 

When I once asked his opinion of a po- 
etical composition on which I had expended 
no little pains, he read it attentively, and 
then remarked, " Unless one's thought pack 
more neatly in verse than in prose, it is 
wiser to refrain. Commonplace gains noth- 
ing by being translated into rhyme, for it 
is something which no hocus-pocus can 
transubstantiate with the real presence of 
living thought You entitle your piece, 
'My Mother's Grave,' and expend four 
pages of useful paper in detailing your 
emotions there. But, my dear sir, water- 
ing does not improve the qnality of ink, 
even though you should do it with tears. 
To publisn a sorrow to Tom, Dick, and 
Han*y is in some sort to advertise its unre- 
alitv, for I have observed in my intercourse 
with the afflicted that the deepest grief in- 
stinctively hides its face with its hands 
and is silent. If your piece were printed, 
I have no doubt it would be popular, for 
people like to fancy that they feel mnch 
better than the trouble of feeling. I would 
put all poets on oath whether they have 
striven to say everything they possibly 
could think of, or to leave out all they 
could not help saying. In your own case, 
my worthy young friend, what you have 



written Is merely' a deliberate exercise, the 
ffymnastic of sentiment. For your excel- 
lent maternal relative is still alive, and it 
to take tea with me this evening, D. V. Be- 
ware of simulated feeling ; it is hypocrisy^s 
first cousin ; it is especially datigerous to 
a preacher ; for he who says one flay, ' Go 
to, let me seem to be pathetic,* may be 
nearer than he thinks to saying, 'Go to, 
let me seem to be virtuous, or earnest, or 
under sorrow for sin.* Depend upon it, 
Sappho loved her verses more sincerely than 
she did Phaon, and Petrarch his sonnets 
better than Launu who was indeed but his 
poetical stalking-norse. After you shall 
have once heani that mnfUed rattle of the 
clods on the coffin-lid of an irreparable lo^ 
you will grow acquainted with a pathos 
that will make all elegies hateful. When 
I was of your age, I also for a time mistook 
my desire to write verses for an authentic 
call of my nature in that direction. But 
one day as I was going forth for a walk, 
with my head full of an 'Elegy on the 
Death of Flirtilla,' and vainly groping after 
a rhvme for lily that should not be silly or 
chilly f I saw my eldest boy Homer bnsy 
over the rain-wa^r hogshead, in that child- 
ish experiment at parthenogenesis, the 
changing a horse-hair into a water-snake. 
An unmersion of six weeks showed no 
change in the obstinate filament Hera 
was a stroke of unintended sarcasm. Had 
I not been doing in my study precisely 
what my boy was doing out of doors? 
Bad my thoughts any more chance of com- 
ing to life by being snbmeri^ed in rhyme 
than his hair by soaking m water! I 
burned my elcsy and took a course of Ed- 
wards on the will. People do not make 
poetry ; it is made out of them by a pro- 
cess for which I do not find myself' fitted. 
Nevertheless, the writing of verses is a 
good rhetorical exercitation, as teadiingus 
what to shun most carefully in prose. For 
prose bewitched is like window-glass with 
bubbles in it, distorting what it should 
show with pellucid veracity." 

It is unwise to insist on doctrinal points 
as vital to religion. The Bread of Life 
is wholesome and sufficing in itself, but 
gulped down with these kick-shaws cooked 
up oy theologians, it is apt to produce an 
indigestion, nay, even at last an incurable 
dyspepsia of scepticism. 

One of the most inexcusable weaknesses 
of Americans is in signing their names to 
what are called credentials. But for my 
interposition, a person who shall be name- 
less would have taken from this town a 
recommendation for an office of trust sub- 






...J 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



285 



scribed by the selectmen and all the voters 
of both parties, ascribing to him as many 
gocxl qualities as if it had been his tomb- 
atone. The excuse was that it would be 
well for the town to be rid of him, as it 
would erelong be obliged to maintain him. 
I would not refuse my name to modest 
merit, but I would be as cautions as in sign- 
ing a bond. [I tnist I shall be subjected 
to no imputation of unbecoming vanity, 
if I mention the fact that Mr. W. indorsed 
my own aualitications as teacher of the 
hieh-schooi at Pequash Junction. J. U.] 
When I see a certificate of character with 
everybody's name to it, I regard it as a 
letter of introduction from the DeviL 
Never give a man your name unless you are 
willing to trust him with your reputation. 

There seem nowadays to be two sources 
of literary inspiration, — fulness of mind 
and emptiness of pocket. 

I am often struck, especially in reading 
Montaigne, with the obviousness and fa- 
miliarity of a great writer's thoughts, and 
the freshness they gain because said by 
him. The truth is, we mix their greatness 
with all they say and give it our best at- 
tention. Johannes raber sic cogitavit, 
would be no enticing preface to a book, 
but an accredited name gives credit like 
the signature of a note of hand. Tt is the 
advantage of fame that it is always priv- 
ileged to take the world by the button, 
and a thbg is weightier for Shakespeare's 
uttering it by the whole amount of his 
personality. 

It is singular how impatient men are 
with overpraise of others, how patient 
with overpraise of themselves ; and yet the 
one does them no iigury, while the other 
may be their ruin. 

People are apt to confound mere alert- 
ness of mind with attention. The one is 
but the Hying abroad of all the faculties 
to the open doors and windows at every 
passing rumor ; the other is the concen- 
tration of every one of them in a sin- 
gle focus, as in the alchemist over his 
alembic at the moment of expected pro- 
jection. Attention is the stun that mem- 
ory is made of, and memory is accumu- 
lated genius. 

Do not look for the Millennium as im- 
minent. One generation is apt to get all 
the wear it can out of the cast clothes of 
the last, and is always sure to use up ever^ 
|Mlin^ of the old fence that will hold a natl 
in building the new. 



Yon suspect a kind of vanity in my 
genealogical enthusiasm. Perhaps you are 
right ; but it is a universal foible. Where it 
does not show itxelf in a personal and pri- 
vate way, it becomes public and gr^rious. 
We flatter ourselves in the Pilgrim Fathers, 
and the Viivinian oflfshOpt of a transported 
conrict swells with the fancy of a cavalier 
ancestry. Pride of birth, I have notice<l, 
takes two forms. One complacently traces 
himself up to a coronet ; another, deflantl v, 
to a la))stone. The sentiment is precisely 
the same in both cases, only that one is 
the positive and the other the negative 
pole of it. 

Seeing a goat the other day kneeling in 
order to graze with less trouble, it seemed 
to me a tvpe of the common notion of 
prayer. Most people are ready enough to 
go down on their knees for material bless- 
ings, but how few for those spiritual gifts 
which alone are an answer to our orisons, 
if we but knew it t 

Some people, nowadays, seem to have 
hit upon a new moralization of the moth 
and tne candle. They would lock up the 
light of Truth, lest poor Psyche should 
put it out in her effort to draw nigh to it. 



No. X. 



MR. HOSEA BIGLOW TO THE EDITOR 
OP THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY. 

Dear Sir, — Your letter come to ban* 

Requestin' me to please be funny ; 
But I ain't made upon a plan 
Tbet knows wut 's comin*, gall or 
honey : 
Ther'*s times the world doos look so 
queer. 
Odd fancies come afore I call 'em ; 
An' then agin, for half a year. 
No preacher 'thout a call 's more 
solemn. 

You *re *n want o' sunthin' light an' cute, 

Rattlin' an' shrewd an' kin' o' jingle- 
ish, 
An* wish, pervidin* it *ould suit, 

I 'd take an* citify my English. 
I ken write long-tailed, ef 1 please, — 

But when I 'm jokin', no, 1 thankee ; 
Then, 'fore I know it, my idees 

Ran helter-skelter into Yankee. 



294 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



I *▼« noticed, tu, it *■ the quack med'- 

cinegits 
(Au' needs) the ffrettest heiiiM o* stilly- 

kits ; rfwo apothekftiW go«t oat] 

Now, sence I lef off creenin' on sU foam, 
I hain't ast no man to enuonie ray coune ; 
It 's full ez cheap to be your own endor- 
ser, 
An* ef I 've made a cup^ I 'II fin' the 

saucer; 
But 1 've some letters here from f other 

side. 
An' them *s the sort thet helps me to 

decide ; 
Tell me for wut the copper-oomp*nies 

hanker, 
An' 1 '11 tell you jest where it 's safe to 

anchor. [FWat blM.] 

Fus ly the Hon'ble B. O. Sawtn writes 
Thet for a spell he could n' sleep o' 

nitfhts, 
Puzzlin which side wus preudentest to 

pin to, 
Which wuz th' ole homestead, which the 

tenip'ry leauto ; 
Et fust he jedged 't would right-side-np 

his (mn 
To come out ez a *ridge*nal Union man, 
*' But now," he sez, ** 1 ain't nut quite 

so fresh ; 
The winnin' horse is guin' to be Secesh : 
You might, las* spring, hev eas'ly walked 

the course, 
*fore we contrived to doctor th' Union 

horse ; 
Now we 're the ones to walk aroun' the 

nex* track : 
Jest you take hold an' read the follerin' 

extrac*. 
Out of a letter I received last week 
From an ole frien' thet never sprung a 

leak, 
A Nothun Dem'crat o' th' ole Jarsey 

blue, 

Boru co|>per-sheaihedan' copper-fastened 

''These four years past it hes been tough 
To say which side a feller went for ; 
GuideiK>sts all gone, roads muddy 'n' 

rough, 
An' nothin' duin* wut 't wuz meant for ; 
Piokete a-firin' left an' right. 
Both sides a lettin dp et sight, — 
Life war n't wuth hardly payin' rent for. 

" Columby gut her back up so, 

It war n't no use a-tryin' to stop her, — 



War's emptin's riled her very dongh 
An' made it rise an' act improper ; 
't wuz fiill ez much ez I could da 
To jes' lay low an' worry thru, 
'thout hevin' to sell out my copper. 

" Afore the war your modMt men 
Could set an' sun *em on the fences 
Cyph'rin' the chances un, an' then 
Jump off which way bes paid expenses ; 
Senoe, 't wus so resky ary way, 
/ did n't hardly darst to say \ 
I 'greed with Faley's Evidences. 

[Qroaa tsatu Daac'n G.] 

<* Ask Maa ef tryin' to set the fence 
War n't like bein' rid upon a nil on % 
HeatUn* your party with a sense 
0' bein' tinjint in the tail on't. 
And tryin to think thet, on the whole. 
You kill' o' quasi own your soul 
When Belmont 's gut a bill o' sale on 't f 
[ThVM oheeiB for Grant and Bhenman.] 

"Come peace, I spoead thet folks *oald 

like 
Their pol'tics done ag'in by proxy 
Give tneir noo loves the bac an' atnkn 
A fresh trade with their reg lar doxy ; 
But the drag's broke, now alaverj'a 

gone. 
An* there 's gret resk they 'II blunder on, 
£f they ain't stepped, to real DemcMs'cj. 

'* We 've gut an awful row to hoe 
In this 'ere job o* reconstructin' ; 
Folks dunuo sknroe which way to go. 
Where th* ain't some boghole to be 

ducked in ; 
But one thing *s clear ; there ti a crai^ 
£f we pry hard, *twixt white an* black. 
Where the old makebate can be tucked 

m. 

"No white man aets in airth's broad 

aisle 
Thet I ain't willin' f own ez brother. 
An* ef he 's heppened to strike ile, 
I dnnno, lin'ly, out I *d mther ; 
An* Paddies, long 'z they vote all ri^ht, 
Thouffh they ain^ jest a nat'ral white, 
I hola one on 'em good *z another. 

[Apptamaa.] 

"Wut is there lef' I 'd like to know, 
Ef 't ain't the difference o* color, 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



295 



To keep up self-respec' an* show 
The human natiir' of a fnllah? 
Wat good in bein' white, onlew 
It 'a iuced by law, nut lef to ffuess, 
That we are smarter an* they duller f 

" Ef we *pe to hev our ekle rights, 
't wnn't da to *low no competition ; 
Th* ole debt doo as for bein' whitea 
Ain't safe onless we stop th* emisaioB 
O' these noo notes, whose specie base 
la human natur', 'thout no trace 
O' shape, nor color, nor condition. 

(CoBtiaood Applaiua.1 

**So ftir I *d writ an* could n* Jedge 
Aboard wut boat I 'd best take fomg^ 
Hy brains all mincemeat, *thoat bo 

edge 
Fpon 'em more than tu a iesaige^ 
But now it seems ex though I sea 
Sunthin* resemblin' an idee, 
Sence Johnson's speech an' yeto mm* 

sage. 

"J like the speech best, I confess. 
The logic, pi-eudence, an* good twte 

on\ 
An' it 's so mad, I rather guess 
There *• some dependence to be placed 

on *t ; [l4uightar.] 

It *8 narrer, but *twixt you an' me^ 
Out o* the allies o* J. D. 
A temp'ry party can be based on 't. 

''Jes' to hold on till Johnson 's thra 
An* dug his Presidential grave is. 
An' thm/ — who knows but we eould 
slew 

The country roun* to put in 1 

Wan*t some folks rare up when we pull 
Out o' their eyes our Union wool 
An' lam *em wut a p'lit'cle shave is ! 

*' O, did it seem *2 ef Providuoce 
OmM ever send a second Tylerf 
To see the South all back to onoe^ 



Reapin' the spiles o* the Freesiler, 
Is cute ez though an ingineer 
Should claim th' old iron for his sheer 
Coz *t was himself that bust the biler ! " 

[Gret laughter] 

Thet tells the story i Thet*s wut we 

shall git 
By tryin' squirtguns on the bumin* Pit ; 
For the dav never comes when it '11 du 
To kick off Dooty like a worn-out shou. 
I seem to hear a whisperin' in the air, 
A sighin' like, of unconsoled despair, 
Thet comes from nowhere an' from 

everywhere. 
An' seems to say, "Why died we ? war 

D*t it, then. 
To settle, once for all, thet men wiu 

men? 
0, airth's sweet cup snetched from us 

barely tasted. 
The grave's real chill is feelin' life wuz 

wasted! 
0, you we lef', long-lingerin' et the 

door, 
Lovin* you best, cos we loved Her the 

more. 
That Death, sot wa» had conquered, we 

should feel 
Ef she upon our memory turned her 

heel. 
An' unr^p^ful throwed us all away 
To flaunt it in a Blind Man'a Holiday !** 

My frien's, I *ve talked nigh on to long 
enough. 

I hain't no call to bore ye coz ye *re 
tough; 

My lunp aia tonnd, an' our own v'ice 
delights 

Our ears, but even kebbige-heada hez 
rights. 

It's the laa* time thet I shell e'er ad< 
dress ye. 

But you *1I soon fin* some new torment- 
or : bless ye } 

[Tnmalt'oai applauae and cries of "Go ou !" 
"Don't 11091"] 



GLOSSARY. 



Actlly, adwitty. 
Air. are. 
Aiilh, eartK 
Airy, ana. 
Aree, area. 
Alter, aJUr, 
Ax, a$k. 



Beller. beOow. 
Bellowaes, lungs. 
Belt, hetn. 
Bile, boU. 

Bliiieby, l>tf and hv. 
Blurt out, to «pe(UB M«iUly. 
Bust, Mirsl. 

Buster, a roUUring bladt; QMd alio as a gen- 
eral saperlatlve. 



Caird, carried. 

Cairn, oarrytn^r. 

Caleb, a turncocU. 

Cal'late. calculaU. 

Cass, a penon with two live*. 

Close, clothes. 

Cockerel, a young cock. 

Cocktail, a kind of drink; also, an omamgnt 
peculiar to aoldiert. 

Convention, a place whers people art imposed 
on : a juggler's show. 

Coons, a cunt t€m for a wyvo d^nct party ; de- 
rived, perhaps, from the fact of uieir being 
commonly vp a tree. 

ComwallU, a sort of muster inmasquercule ; snp- 

E>se(l to have had its origin soon after the 
evolution, and to comniemorata the surren- 
der of Lord Comwnllis. It took the place of 
the old Guy Fawkes proceasloo. 
Crooked stick, a perverse, froioard person^ 
Cunnlc, a colonel. 
Cus. a curse; also, a pitiful feltow. 



D. 

Darsn't, nsed indiscriminately, either in singu- 
lar or plural number, for dare not, daru not, 
and dared not. 

Deacon off. to give the cue to ; derived fh)m a 
custom, once universal, but now extinct, in 
our New England Congregational churches. 
An iniix>rtaut part of the office of deacon was 



to read aload the hymns given Md by the 

minister, one line at a time, the congregatjoii 

singing each line as soon as read. 
Demtnercrat, leadin', one in favor of extendimg 

davery; a free-trade leUurtr tnaintained i» 

the euatom-houae. 
Desput, desperate. 
Doos, does. 
Donghlkce, a contented liek-spitiU; a eommon 

variety of Northern politician. 
Dror, draw. 
Dvi, do. 

Duuno, dno, do not or doss net knotw, 
Dat, dirt 



Eeud, end. 

Ef.if. 

Eniptina, tfsasL 

Env'y, envoy. 

Everiasting, an IntenalYe, witbont refennee to 

duration. 
Ev'y, etiery. 

P. 

Fence, on the : said of one who halts betweoi 

two opinions ; a trimmer. 
Per, for. 

Ferfle, ferftel, ftarful; also an intenslva. 
Fln'./nA 
Fish-skin, naed in New England to claritr 

coffee. 
Fix, a difficulty, a nonplus. 
Poller, folly, tofblhw. 
Porrerd, forward. 
Frum, ftxnn. 
Fur. Jar. 
Purder, farther. 
Furrer, fitrrow. 

straight furrow 

rously. 
TuBt^flrsL 



Metaphorical^, to draw a 
is to live uprightly or deco* 



O. 

Gin, gave. 

Qit, get. 

Gret, greaL 

Grit, spirit, energy, plutk. 

Grout, to suUc 

Grouty, crabbed, surly. 

Gum, to impose on. 

Gump, a fcnliak feOaWt aditlZanL 

Out,yoi. 



J 



INDEX. 



A. wants bis axe gnmnd, fS7. 

A. B., infbrmation wanted coneemlng, 190. 

Abiabam (LincolnX his constitixtiunaltcnipleii 

«57. 
Abase, an, its nseftilaess, MB. 
Adam, eldest son of, respected, }7\ — his lUl. 

274 — how if he had bitten a sweet apple! 

877. 
Adam, Gnuidfhther, foiged will of; Mtt. 
.£neas goes to hell, 198. 
£olua, a teller of money, ts is sapposed hg 

some, 198. 
iEschylus, a Haying of^ 18S, nat$. 
Alligator, a decent one ooi^ectared to be. In 

some sort, hnniane, 208. 
Allsmash, Uie eternal, 260. 
Alphonso the Sixth of Fortogsl, tyramilcsl set 

of, 204. 
Aiubrose. Saint, exceltent (but lationslistie) 

pmtiment of, 178. 
"American Citittn," new eompost so called, 

108. 
American Esgle. a eonrce of inspintloii, 181 — 

Mtherto wrongly clsssed, 184 — long bi|l ot, 

Americana bebrothered, 241. 

Amos cited, 178. 

Auakim, that they formerly existed, shown, 204. 

Angels providentially speak Ftencn, 174 — con- 
jectured to be skilled in sll tongaes, ib. 

Anglo-Saxondom, its idea, what^ 174. 

Anglo-Saxon mssk, 174. 

Anglo-Saxon race, 173. 

Anglo-Saxon verse, by whom carried to perfeor 
tion, 171. 

Antliony of Fkdna, Ssint, happy in his bearan, 
250. 

Antiquaries, Royal Society of l^orthem, 268. 

Antonlus, a speech of, 179— by whom best 
reported, ib. 

Apocalypse, besst in, magnetio to theologiaas, 
192. 

Apollo, oonfened mortal by bis oirn oiacle, 
192. 

ApoUyon, his trsgedles popular, lOOi 

Appian. an Alexandrian, not equal to Shake- 
speare as an orator, 179. 

Applause, popular, the mmmum b(m«m, 26S. 

Ararat, ignorance of foreign tenguae is an, 181 

Arcadian background, 190l 

Ar clioaskesik, an evil spirit, 290. 

Ardennes, Wild Boar of, an ancestor of Ber. 
Mr. WUbur. 281 

Aristociacy, British, their natuxal qrnip*thies, 
256. 



Aristophanes, 177. 

Arms, profession of, ones esteemed etpeelsUy 
that of gentlemen, 171. 

Arnold, 180. 

Ashknd. 199. 

Astor, Jacob, a rich man, 195. 

Astnea, nineteenth century forsaken by, 19flL 

Athenians, ancient, an institution of, 179. 

Atherton, Senator, envies the loon, 180. 

** Atlantic,'* editors of. See Neptune. 

Atropoe, a lady skllfhl with tiie scissors, 276L 

Austin, Saint. proCsne wish at, 180, nots — 
prayer of, 282. 

Austrian esgle split, 260. 

Aye-aye, the, an African animal, America sup- 
posed to be settled by, 175. 



Coogvp^, 184— a 



B., a Congressman, efds A. 
Babel, probably tlM lint 

gabble-mill, <b. 
Baby, a low-priced <»e, 197. 
Bscon, his rebellion, 251. 
Bacon, Ixnd, quoted, 251. 
Bsgowlnd, Hon. Mr., whether tQ be damned, 

187. 
Balcom. Elder Joash Q. , 9d, firnnds a Baptfst 

society in Jaalam, A. D, 1830, 288. 
Baldwin applet, 204. 
Baratarias, real or imsginsiy, which moit 

pleasant, 10& 
Bamnm, a great nalnnd cnxiosl^ recommended 

to, 188. • 

Barrels, an infarence from seeing, 204. 
Bartlett, Mr., mistaken. 239. 
B&ton Rouge, 199— ttrani^e peeuHaittiea of 

laborers at, ib. 
Baxter, R, a saying of, 178. 
Bay, Mattysquroscot, 208. 
Bay State, singular ellbct iwoduced on miUtsry 

oflUcers by leaving it, 174. 
Beast, In Apocalypse, a losdstone for whom, 

192 —tenth horn of, applied te recent events, 

275. 
Beaufort, 262. 

Beauregard (real name ToutantX MS, SMI 
Beaver brook, 287. 
Beelzebub, his rigadoon, 187. 
Behmen, his letters not letters^ 191. 
Behn, Mrs. Aphra. quoted, 251. 
Bellers, a saloon-keeper, 200 — inhumsfily re- 
vises credit to a presidential candidate, 

201. 
Belmont See TTooda 
Bentley, his heroic method with Milton, 201 



300 



THE 6IGL0W PAPERS. 



Bible, not composed for oie of colored penoiu, 
263. 

Biglow. EMkiel. bit letter to Hon. J. T. Buck- 
ingham, 109 — never heard of any one named 
M undishes. ib. — nearly fourscore years old, 
ib. — htM aunt Keziah, a notable saying of, ib. 

Biglow, Hosea, Esquire, excited by com)ios>tion, 
109 — a poem by. ib. , 188 — his opinion of war, 
170 — wanted at home by Nancy, 170 — recom- 
mends a forcible enlistment of warlike editors, 
ib. — would not wonder, if generally agreed 
with. 171 —versifies letter of Mr. Sawln, 172 

— a letter fh>m, 172, 186 — his opinion of Mr. 
Bawln. 171 — does not deny fun at Comwal- 
lU, 172, nUt — his idea of milltU glory, 178, 
noU — h pun of, 173. note — is uncertain In 
regard to people of Boston, ib. — had never 
heard of Mr. John P. Robinson, 175 —aliquid 
niMaminandu$, 170 — his poems attribuuAl to 
a Mr. Lowell, 177 -- is unskilled in Latin, ib. 

— his )K>etry maligned by some, 178 —his dis- 
interestedness, ib. — his deep share in com- 
mon-weal, ib. — his claim to the presidency, 
ib. — his mowing, ib. — resents oeing called 
Whig, ih. — opposed to tariff, ib. — obstinate, 
ib. — infected with peculiar notions, ib, — 
reports a speech, 179 — emulates historians 
of antiquitv, ib. — his character sketched 
from a hostile point of view, 184 — a request 
of his complied «rith, 187 — appointed at a 
public meeting In Jaalam, 191 — confesses 
Ignorance, in one minute particular, of pro- 
priety, tb. — his opinion or co<'.ked hats, ib. 

— letter to, ib. - caUed " Dear Sir," by a gen- 
eral, ib. — probably receives sams compli- 
ment fh>m two hundred and nine, ib. — picks 
his apples, 204 — his crop of Baldwins c^qjec- 
turally large, ib. — his labors in writing auto- 
graphs, 231 -visits the Judise and has a pleas- 
ant Ume, 239- bom in Middlesex County, 
243 — his fkvorite walks, ib. — his gifted pen. 
269 — bom and bred in the country, 271 — 
feels his sap start in spring, 272 — is at times 
unsocial, ib. — the school-house where he 
learned his a b c, ib. — falls asleep. 273— his 
ancestor a Cromwellian colonel, ih. — finds it 
harder to make up his mind as he grows 
older. 274 — wishes he could write a song or 
two, 277 — liable to moods, 286 — loves nature 
and is loved in return, 286 — describes some 
favorite haunts of his, 280. 287 — his slain 
kindred, 287 — his speech in March meeting, 
287 — does not reckon on being sent to Con- 
gress, 289 — has no eloquence, fb. — his own 
reporter, 290 — never abused the South. 
ib. — advises Uncle Ham, ib. — is not Boston- 
mad, 291 — bids farewell, 296. 

Billings, Dea. Cephas, 172. 

Billy, F..Tlra, demagogu*, 281. 

Birch, virtue of, in instilling certain of the dead 

languof^es, 197. 
Bird of our country sings hosanna, 173. 
Bjarna Griniolfsson invents smoking, 264. 
Blind, to go it, 196. 

Blitz ])u]l9 ribbons fh>m his mouth, 173. 
Bluenose potatoes, smell of, eagerly desired, 

173. 
Bobolink, the. 272. 
Bobtail obtnliiB a cardinal's hat, 176. 
Bogies, a Nunnan name. 264. 
Boj^us Four-Comers Weekly Meridian, 205. 
BoUes, Mr. Ueconclary, author of prize peace 

essay, 172— presents sword to Lieutenant 



Colonel, ib. — a fluent orator, 173 — ftnmd to 

be in error, ib. 
Bonaparte, N., a nsurtier, 192. 
Bonds, Confederate, their specie basis cutlery, 

230 — when payable, (attention, Bntiak 

stockholders !) 200. 
Boot-trees, productive, where, 197. 
Boston, people of, supposed educated. 17S, 

note — has a good opinion of itself. 243l 
Bowers, Mr. Arphaxad, an ingenious photo- 
graphic artist. 264. 
Brahmins, navel-contempUting, 190. 
Brains, poor substitute for, 244. 
Bread-trees, 197. 
Bream, their only business, 239. 
Brigadier-Generals in militia, devotion of. 179. 
Brigadiers, nursing ones, tendency in, to litenry 

composition, 233. 
Briffitta, viridit, 280. 
Britannia, her trident, 249. 
Brotherhood, subsides after election. 968u 
Brown, Mr, engages in an uneoiud contest, 187. 
Browne, Sir T., a pious and wise sentiment oC 

cited and commended, 171. 
Bratus Four-Comers, 232L 
Buchanan, a wise and honest man, 255. 
Buckingham, Hon. J. T.. editor of the Boston 

Courier, letters to, 109, 171, 177, 186— not 

alhdd, 172. 
Buf&do. a pbm hatched there, 201 — plaster, 4 

prophecy in regard to, 202. 
BuflUoes, herd of, probable influence of trscts 

Xn, 277. 
John, prophetic allusion to, by Horsce, 

240 — his '* Run." 243 - his mortgage, 240— 

unfortunate dip of, 201 — wool puUed over 

his eyes, ih. 
Buncombe, in the other world supposed, 179, 

— mutual privilege in, 2&& 
Bung, the eternal, thought to be loose, 170. 
Bungtown Fenctbles, dinner of, 176u 
Burke, Mr., his age of chivalry snipaased, 251. 
Burleigh, Lord, quoted for something said in 

Latin long before, 261. 
Bums, Robert, a Scottish poet, 839. 
Bushy Brook. 252. 
Butler, Bishop, 259. 
Butter in Irish bogs, 197. 



a 

C, General, commended for parts, 176— for 
ubiquity, ib. — for consistency, ib. — for 
fidelity, ib.— is in favor of war, ib. — his 
curious valuation of principle, ib. 

Cabbage-heads, the, always in minority, 289. 

Cabinet, English, makes a blunder. 241. 

Cflesar. tribute to, 189 — his veni, vidi, rid, 
censured for undue prolixity, 193. 

Calnites, sect of, supposed still extant, 171. 

Caleb, a monopoly of his denied, 172 — curious 
notions of, as to meaning of " shelter." 174 
— his definition of Anglo-Saxon, ib. —charges 
Mexicans (not with bayonets but) with im- 
proprieties, ibi 

Calhoun, Hon. J. C, his cow-bell curfew, light 
of the nineteenth century to be extinguished 
at sound of, 186 — cannot let go apron-string 
of the Past, ib. — his unsuccessful tilt at 
Spirit of the Age, ib. — the Sir Kay of rood- 
em chivalry, ib. — his anchor made of a 
crooked pin, ib. — mentioned, 185 - 187. 



J 



INDEX. 



SOI 



Ca/yftoonu, career, 282. 

Cambridge Platform, ase dtaeoT^red for, 175. 

Canaaii in quarterly instalnicnta, 265. 

Canary Inlands, 197. 

Candidate, pmtidential, letter ftx>in, 191 — 
anielU a rat, ib. — against a bank, ib. — takes 
a revolving |>osition, 192— opinion of pledges, 
ih. — is a iieriwig, ib. —troaiM soutli by 
north, ib. — qiiaUtlcations of, lessening, 193— 
wooden leg (and head) usefnl to, 198. 

Ca]i« C<k1 clergymen, what. 175— babbath- 
breakers. perhaps, reproved by, ib. 

Captains, choice of. important, 290. 

Carolina, foolish act of, 290. 

Caroline, case of, 241. 

Carpini, Father John de Piano, among the Tar- 
tan, 204. 

Cartier, Jaeqiies, commendable zeal of, 204. 

Caas, General, 186 — clearness of hia merit, ib. 
— limited (»opuhirity at " Bellen's," 200. 

Castleft, Sfianish, comfortable accommodations 
in. 108. 

Cato, letters of, so called, suspended naso 
adnnco, 191. 

C. D., ftieiids of, can hear of him, 190. 

Century, nineteenth, 255. 

Chalk egg, we are proad of Incubation of, 100. 

Chambemyne, Doctor, consolatory citation 
firom, 251. 

Chance, an apothegm concerning! 288 — Is Im- 
liatieut, 275. 

Cliaplain, a one-horse, stem-wheeled variety of, 
23.5. 

Chappelow on Job, a copy of, lost, 188. 

Charles I., accident tn his neck, 274. 

Charles II., his restoration, how brought about, 
274. 

Cherubiiaco, news of, its effects on English 
royalty, 18.3. 

Chesterfleld no letter-writer, 101. 

Chief Magistrate, dancing esteemed slnltil by, 
175. 

Children naturally speak Hebrew, 171. 

China-tree, 197. 

Chinese, whether they invented gunpowder be- 
fore the Christian era not considered, 175. 

Choate hired, 201. 

Christ shnffled into Apocrypha, 175 — coi^Jec- 
tured to disapprove of slaughter and pillage, 
176 — condemns a certain piece of barbarism, 
187. 

Christianity, profession of, plebeian, whether, 
171. 

Christian soldiers, perhaps inconsistent, 
whether, 179. 

Cicero, 2S9, — an opinion of, disputed, 193. 

Cilley. Ensign, author of uefiirious sentiment, 
175. 

Clmex Itetularius, ITS. 

Cincinnati, old. law and order party of, 209. 

Cinf*innatus, a stock character in modem com- 
edy, 199. 

Civilixation, progress of, an aliae, 188— rides 
upon a powder-cart, 191. 

Clergymen, their ill husbandry, 188— their 

place in processions, 199, — some, cruelly 

Danished for the soundness of their lungs, 

204. 

Clotho, a Grecian lady, 276. 

Cocked-hat, advantagies of being knocked Into, 

191. 
Collsge of Cardinals, a strange one, 175. 
Colman, Dr. Benjamin, anecdote of, 179. 



Colored folks, curious national diversion of 
kicking, 173. 

Colquitt, a remark of, 186 — acquainted with 
some ^irinciples of aerostation, ib. 

Columbia, District of, its peculiar climatic ef- 
fects, 180 — not certain that Martin is for 
alK>li8h{ng it, 201. 

Colunibiads, the true flfteen-inch ones, 267. 

C4»lumbus, a Paul Pry of genius, 190 — will per- 
haps be remembered, S^ — thought by some 
to have discovered America, 292. 

Columby. 200. 

Complete Lettei^Writer, flital gift of. 192. 

Compostella, Saint James of, seen. 174. 

Compromise system, the, illustrated, 266^ 

Conciliation, its meaning, 277. 

Congi-ess, singular consequence of getting into, 
180 — a stumbling-blocK, 256. 

Congressional debates found instractive, 184. 

Constituents, useful for what, 181. 

Constitution trampled on, 185 —to stand upon, 
what, 191. 

Convention, what, 181. 

Convention, Springfield, 180. 

Coon, old, pleasure in skinning, 186. 

Co-operation defined, 254. 

Coppers, caste in picking up of, 195. 

Copres, a monk, his excellent method of argu- 
ing, 184. 

Corduroy-road, a novel one, 284. 

Comer-stone, patent safety, 25& 

Corawallis, a, 172 — acknowledged entertain* 
ing, ib. note. 

Cotton loan, its imaginary nature, 2S& 

Cotton Mather, summoned as witness, 174. 

Country, our, Its boundaries more exactly 
defined, 177 — right or wrong, nonsense about, 
exposed, i!>. — lawyers, sent providentially, 
ib. — Earth's biggest, gets a soul, 279. 

Courier, The Boston, an unsafe print, 184. 

Court, General, faraiers sometimes attain seats 
In, 199. 

Court, Supreme, 256. 

Courts of law, English, their orthodoxy, 265. 

Cousins, British, our ei-devant, 241. 

Cowi)er, W., his letters commended, 191. 

Credit defined, 261. 

Creditors all on Lincoln's side, 25& 

Creed, a safe kind of, 196. 

Crockett, a good rale of, 236. 

Craden, Alexander, his Concordance, 282. 

Crusade, first American, 174. 

Cuneiform script recommended, 193. 

Curiosity distinguishes man fh)m brutes, 190. 

Currency, Ethiopian, inconveniences of, 236. 

Cynthia, her hiae as a means of conversion* 
283. 



D. 

Dsedalus first taught men to sit on fences, 252. 

Daniel in the linnNi den. 235. 

Darkies dread ft-eedom, 256. 

Davis, Captain Isaac, finds out something to 
his advantage. 243. 

Davis, JeflTenion (a new species of martyr), has 
the kiteat ideas on all subiects, 236 — supe- 
rior in financiering to patriarch Jacob, ib. — >' 
is tome, 255 — carries Constitution in his hat, 
256 — knows how to deal with his Congress, 
ib. —astonished at his own piety. 260 — 
packed up for Nashville, 261 — tempted to 






802 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



belieT« his «ini 1M, SM — his make egg, S67 
— the blood on hJs hands, 287. 

Davifl, Mr., of Minlssipiit, a remarlc of hit, 188. 

Day and Martin, prorerbUlly ''on hand," 100. 

Death, rings down curtain, 190. 

Do Bow (a flimoiis political economist), 2M. 

Delphi, oracle of, surpassed, 188, naU — al- 
luded to, 192. 

Democracy, fUse DOtton of, S57 — its prlirOeges, 
t7& 

Demosthenes, 189. 

Destiny, her account, 188. 

Devil, the, nnskilled in certain Indian toogties 
174 — letters to and from, 191. 

Dey of Tripoli, 18S. 

Dldymus, a somewhat vohsminont grammarian, 

in. 

Dighton mck character might be nsetally em- 
ployed in some eroeigencies. 193. 

Dimitry Bruisgtns, fresh supply of, 190l 

Diogenea, his seal for propagating certain irari- 
ety of olive, 197. 

Dioscuri, imps of the pit, I7& 

District- Attorney, deintemptlble ecmduek <rfone, 
185. 

Ditchwater on brain, a too eommon aHiBg, 185. 

Dixie, the land of, iSQ. 

Doctor, the, a inorerblid *aYtnc «f, 174. 

Doe, Hon. Preserved, speech oi; 962^-MI. 

Doughface, yeast-proof, 189. 

Downing Street, 940. 

Drayton, a martyr, 185— norfli ftar, eidptble 
for aiding, whether. 187. 

Dreams, something aooift, fTS. 

Dwight, Piealdent, a hymn oalottly «KrRnted 
to, 275. 

D. T., leMer ti, 191. 



Eagle, national, the late, bis estate tdminia- 
tered upon. 287. 

Earth, Dame, a peep at her honsekeeptng, 185. 

Eating words, habit of, eonvenieBt m tone of 
famine, 182. 

Eavesdroppers, 190. 

Echetlttus, 175. 

Editor, his position, 187— commanding pnlpH 
of, 188 — large congregation of, <b. — name 
derived from what, ib. — fondness for mut- 
ton, ib. — a pions one, his creed, ih.—tL 
showman, 189— in danger of sadden arrest. 
wHhout bail. 190. 

Editors, certain ones wbo erow like oockerels, 
170. 

Edwards, Jonathan, 284. 

EgKn, bad, the worst sort of. 209. 

EsQ'ptian darkness, phial of. use for. 108. 

Eldorado. Mr. Sawin sets sail for, 197. 

Elizabeth, Queen, mistake of her ambassador. 
179. 

Emerson, 289. 

Emiliutt PauluSf 242. 

Empedocles, 190. 

Emiilovroent, regnhir, a good thing, 190l 

Enfiela's Speaker, abuse of, 208. 

England, late Mother-Countiy, her want of 
tact, 240— merits as a lecturer, ih. —her 
real greatness not to be foivotten, 242— not 
contented (unwisely) with her own stook of 
fooln, 244— natural maker of international 
law. 15.— her theory thereof^ <5. —makes 



a particularly disagreeable kind of aBrst. 244 
— somewhat given to huU]riiig, ih. — has re- 
spectable relations, 245 — ought to be Co- 
lumbia's friend, 246 — anxious to bay an 
elephant, 255. 

E^ulets. perhaps no badge of saintship, 176L 

BplnienidM, the Cretan Rip Van Winkle, 250. 

Epiacopius. his marvellous oratory. 2M. 

Erie, king of Sweden, his cap, 198. 

Ericsson, his caloric engine, 288. 

Erikssou, Tliorwald. slain 1^ natives, 983. 

Essence-pedlers, 257. 

Ethiopian, the, his first need, 259. 

Evanffelista, iron ones, 175. 

Eyelids, a divine ahield against anthora, IS4. 

Eaekiel. text taken fttmi, 187. 

Eaekiel would make a poor JBgnre at a 
270. 



Faber, Johannes, 285. 

Faetory-giris, expected rebelUdn of. 18& 

Facts, their unamiability, 262 — compared to 
an old-fashioned stage-coach, 265. 

FaUkfJii, Itgio, 280. 

FamUy-treea, frtrtt of >;}ane, 197 — a prtmtt}re 
forest of, 206. 

Faneuil Hall, a place where Mrsons tap them- 
selves fbr a species of hyarocepbalaa, 1S5— 
a bill of fare mendaciously advertised in, 197. 

Ftfther of courtry, his shoes, 199, 

Female Papists, cut off in the midst of idol- 
atry, 198. 

Fentanontm, ftae, 260. 

Fenrasson, his " slutaal Complaint," Ac, SS9. 

F. P., singular power of their looks, 2S6L 

Fire, we idl like to play wHh it. 185l 

Fish, emblematic, but disregarded, where, 
184. 

Fitx, Miss Pnihenia Almlra, a sheredardi, 
284. 

Flam, Presidetft, tmimstworthy, 181. 

Flirt, Mrs.. 251. 

FlirtilU, eleay on death ot 284. 

Floyd, a taking Character, 26L 

Floydut, yVcrci/sr, 280. 

Fly-leaves, providential increase of. 181 

Fool, a cursed, hie inalienable righta. 278. 

Foots, Mr., his taste Ibr Aeld-sports, 188. 

Fourier, a scminting toward, 184. 

Fourth <ftimf ovght to know Its place, Ml 

Fourth of Julys, boiling, 180. 

France, a strange dance begrni In, 187— aboot 
to put her foot in it, 255. 

Friar, John. 241. 

FnHer, Dr. Thomas, a wise saytng of, 1T8L 

Funnel, old, hurraing in, 172. 



Gabriel, his lastlnAiip. Hs pressing nature^ 968i 

Gardiner, Lieutenant Xion. 242. 

Gawain, Sir, his amusements. 185. 

Gav, 8. H., Esquire, editor of National Antt- 
uavery Standard, letter to, 190. 

Geese, how infkllibly to make swans of, 244. 

Gentleman, hish-toned Southern, scientifi- 
cally clacMed, 201 

Getting up early, 170, 174. 

Ghosts, some, presumed fidgety, (bat see SfiD- 
Ing's Pneununology,) 190. 



J 



VXDtX, 



303 



OUmts formeriy ttnpid. }85. 

Gideon, hit swerd needed, M7. 

Oift of tmtsamt dlstNMing esM ot, 184 

Gilbert. Sir Humphrey, 964^ 

Globe Theatre, cheap seasoft-tltflMt to, IM. 

Glory, a perquisite of offlcert« 196 — hef tMotoA 
with a Sftwin, Bsq., 197. 

Gofttmooe. the oetehratod, Inteitisir wlCh^ 191. 

God, the only honest dealef^ Sde< 

Goinga, Mehetable, nnfouhded elatm of, dis- 
proved, t89. 

Gcmara has a rlsion, 174*^ his velattoAsMp lo 
the Scarlet Woman, ib. 

Gkrremor, oar exceUeiit« 881. 

Grandfiither, Mr. Bi^^ow's, safe adrioe ot 948. 

Grandftitheis, the, knew tmntthintt 84a 

Gnuid inrors, Bootheni, their way of flndiog H 
true Mil, 286. 

Oranttu, Ihur, 881. 

Gravestonea, the evidaacs of DtHentlBg ohes 
held doubtftil, 966. 

Gray's letters an leUers, 10L 

Oreat horn spoon, swoni by, 1861 

Greeks, ancient, whether th«y %iMStloiMd eafb- 
didates, 198. 

Green Man, sIgA of 1 178L 



Habeas cotpttt, li«w mode of giupetidltig it« 
280. 

Hail Colombia, laised, 285. 

Ham, sandwich, an orthodox (bot pecnllaTOi oi>^ 
187 — his seed, 258 ~ their prlvileae lu the 
Bible, ih. — immoral JostiUcation dr. ih. 

Hamlets, machine for making, 194. 

Hammoti, 188, wfU. 199. 

Hampton Rosas, disaster In, 250. 

Hannegan, Mr., something said by, 180L 

Harrison, General, how preserredv 191 

Hat, a leak/ one, 286L 

Hatrtrees, In foil bearing, 197. 

Hawkins, his Whetstone, 288. 

Hawkins, Sir John, stottt tometUllg he saw. 

Hawthorne, 989. 

Hay-rick, electrical ezperlmenti irlth, 978. 

Iteadkmg, General, 949L 

Hell, the opinion of some eonceniingf 278— 

breaks loose, 877. 
Henry the Fonrth of Bn^lland, a Fulitnimt of, 

how named, 179. 
Hena, self -respect attributed to, 238. 
Herb, the Circean, 905. 
Herbert, Geoi^, next to David, 950. 
Hereulea, his socond kbor probkbly What« 

Hermon, foorth-proof dew of, 258. 

Hofodotos, story fW)m, 171. 

Hesperides, an inference fh>m, 198. 

Heaaians, native American soldterft, 2S6l 

Hickory, Old, his method, 27& 

Higgses, their natural aristocracy of feeUng, 
254. 

Hitchcock, Doctor, 264. 

Hitchcock, the Bev. Jeduthnn, eollesgne of 
Mr. Wllbnr, 232— letter fhim, containing no- 
tices of Mr. Wilbur. 275 — ditto, enclostug 
macaronic versea, 279— teacher of high- 
school, 285. 

Hogs, their dreanui. 288. 

Holden. Mr. Sheaijasbub. Preceptor of Jaalam 
Academy, 192 -^ his knowledge of Greek lim- 



ited, 198 ~ a heresy of his, Ift.— -leiives a 

fund to propagate it, i5. 
Holiday, blind man's, 895. 
Hollis, Ezra, goes to a Ck^mwallls, 178. 
HoUow, why men providentially so oonstraeted, 

180. 
Holmes, Dr^, author of ** Annals of Amerioa,** 

2S2. 
Homer, a phrase of^ cited. 188. 
Homer, eldest son of Mr. Wilbur, 284. 
Homers, democratic ones, plums left for, 181. 
Hotels, big ones, humbtigs, 248. 
House, a fttrange one described, 888. 
Howell, James. Esq., stoiy told by, 179 — let- 
ters of, commended, 191. 
Huldah, her bonnet, 274. 
Human rights out of order on the floer of 

Congress, 18& 
Humbug, ascription of praise to, 189-^ | 

ally believed In, ib. 
Husbandry, instance of bad, 176. 



Icarius, FeneloM's fkther, 177. 

loebmder, a eenidn uncertain, 964 

Idea, the Southem, its natural foes, 962-^ the 

true American, 991. 
Ideas, friction ones unsafe, 90& 
Idyl defined, 830. 
Indecision, mole-blind, 39L 
Infknts, prattllngs of, curious observation oon- 

cemlng, 171. 
Information wanted (universally, b&t especially 

at paffo), 190.- 
IshmaeT, young, 248. 

J. 

Jaalam, nnjustly neglected by great evoitSi 

264. 

Jaalam Centre. Anglo-Saxona uqjnstly ens' 
apected by the young ladles there, 174 — " In- 
dependent Blunderbuss," strange coodact of 
editor of, 187 — public meeting at, 191^ 
meetlng-honae ornamented wit£ linisglnaiy 
clock, 198. 

Jaalam, East Parish of« 882. i 

Jaalam Point, lighthouse on. charge of, pro* 
spectlvely offered to Mr. H. BIglow, 192. 

Jaoobui.Ttx^ 280. 

Jakes, Captain, 908 — reproted for avarice, (b, 

Jamaica, 890. 

James the Fourth, of Soots, experiment by, 
171. 

Jamsgin, Mr., his opinion of the complete- 
ness of Nortnem education, 186. 

Jefferson, Thomas, well-meaning, but Iqju- 
dldous, 206. 

Jeremiah, hardly the best guide In modem 
politics. 270. 

Jerome, Saint his list of sacred writers. 191. 

Jerusha, ex-Mrs. Sawln, 237. 

Job. Book of. 171 — Chappelow on, 188. 

Johnson, Andrew, as he used to be, 207^ as 
he Is : see Amoldf Berudict 

Johnson, Mr., communicates some intelligence, 
187. 

Jonah, the Inevitable destiny of. 187 — prob* 
ably studied Internal economy of the ceta- 
cea, 190 — his gourd, 858 -^ his unanimity In 
the whale, 255. 



J 



304 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



Jonattaui to John, 248. 

JortiD, Dr., cited, 179, 188, note. 

Journalii, British, their brutal tone, 240. 

Jtumito, 908. 

Judea, everything not known there, 177 — not 

identical with A. D., 274. 
Judge, th<s hia garden, 2S0— hit hat ootws 

many tilings, i£ 
JuToual, a saying of, 188, note. 



Kay, Sir, the, of modem chiTalrr, 191 ~ who, 

ISA. 
Key, braien one, 188. 

Keziah. Aunt, profound obaenration of, 100L 
Kinderhook. 199. 

Kingdom Come, march to, eaay, IM. 
KdnigsmarlL, Count, 17L 



Lablache snipasaed, 258. 
Lacedemonians banish a sreat talker, 18& 
Lamb, Charles, his epistolary excellence, 19L 
lAtimer, Bishop, episcopixes Satan, 171. 
Latin tongue, curious information conoemlng, 

177. 
lAuncelot, Sir, a trusser of giants formerly. 

perhaps would find less sport therein now, 

Laura, exploited, 284. 

Learning, three-story, 272. 

Letcher, de la vieille nehe, 261 

Letchenu, ntlndo, '280. 

Letters classed, 191— their shape, ib. — of 
candidates, 192 — often ftital, ib. 

Lettres Cabalistiques. quoted, 240. 

Lewis Philip, a scourger of vonng native 
Americans. 183 — commJaerated (though not 
deserving it), ib. noU. 

Lexington, 243. 

Liberator, a newspaper, condemned by impli- 
cation, 178. . 

Libertv, unwholesome tor men of certain com- 
plexions, 188. 

Licking, wh<>n conntitntional. 256L 

Lignum vitie, a gift of this Suable wood pro- 
posed, 174. 

Lincoln, too shrewd to hang Mason and SlldeU, 
262. 

Literature, Southern, its abundance, 254. 

Little Big Boosy River, 237. 

Longinus recommends swearing, 172, note (Fu- 
sel! did same thingX 

Lontf sweetening recommended. 194. 

Lord, inexpenAive way of lending to, 236. 

Lords, Southern, prove pur mng by ablution, 
254. 

Lost arts, one sorrowfblly added to list of, 204. 

Louis tlie Eleventh of France, some odd trees 
of his, 107. 

Lowell, Mr. J. R.. unaccountable silence of. 177. 

Luther, Martin, his first appearance as Europa, 
174. 

Lyvns, 282. 

Lyttelton, Lord, his letters an Imposition, 191. 

M. 

Macrohii, their diplomacr, 198. 
Magoffln, a name naturally noble. 254. 
Mahomet, got nearer Bins! than some, 188. 



Mahonnd. his filthy gobbets, 174. 

MaudeviUe, Sir John, quoted, 240. 

Maugum, Mr., speaics u> the point, 186. 

ManichaBan, excellently conftxted, 184. 

Man-trees, grow where, 197. 

Maori chieftains, 241. 

Mapes, Walter, quoted, 241 >- paraph rased, <b. 

Mares'-nests. finders o^ boievolent, 190l 

Marius, quoted, 251. 

Marshfield, 199. 20L 

Martin, Mr. Sawin used to vote for him, 201. 

Mason and Dixon's line, slaves north of, 186. 

Mason an F. P. V.,262. 

Mason and Slidell, how they might have been 

made at once useftil and ornamental, 262. 
Mass, the, its duty defined, 180L 
Massachusetts on her knees, 170 ; somethii^ 

mentioned in connection with, worthy the 

attention of tailors, 180 : citizen of, baked, 

boiled, and roasted (n^ndum /), 19& 
Masses, the, used as butter by some, 182. 
Maury, an intellectual giant, twin birth with 

Simms (which neeX 254. 
Mayday a humbug, 270. 
M. C, an invertebrate animal, 18SL 
Me, Mister, a queer creature, 272. 
Mechanics' Fair, reflections suggested at, 19S, 

194. 
Medium, ardentitpiritualej 280. 
Mediums, spiritual, dreadfUl liais, 274. 
Memniinsrer, old, 230^ 
Mentor, letters of, dreary. 19L 
Mephistoitheles at a nonplus, 187. 
Mexican blood, its effect in raising price of 

cloth, 198. 
Mexican polka, 175. 

Mexicans cliarged with Tarions breaches of eti- 
quette, 174 — kind feelings beaten into then, 

189. 
Mexico, no slory fai overcoming, 181. 
Middleton, Thomas, quoted, 251. 
Military glor>' spoken disresiiectftilly of, 173^ 

nofc — militia treated still worse, ib. 
Milk-trees, growing still, 197. 
Mill. Stuart, his low ideas, 26L 
Millenniums apt to miscanry, 278. 
Millspring. 262. 
Mills for manullM^taiing gabble, how driven, 

184. 
Mills. Josiah's, 272. 
Milton, an unconscious plagiary, 180. note— a 

Latin verse of, cited, 188— an English poet, 

264— his •• Hymn of the Nativity,^* 276. 
Missionaries, useftil to alligators, 234 — cnli- 

nary liabilities of, 25.3. 
Missions, a profitable kind of, 188. 
Monarch, a ]iagan, probably not favored In 

philosophical experiments, 171. 
Money-trees, desirable, 197 — that they once 

existed shown to be variously probable, ib, 
Montaigne, 285. 

Montaigne, a communicative old Gascon, 190. 
Monterey, iMittle of, its sinsular chromatic efliect 

on H species of two-headed eagle, 183^ 
Montezuma, licked, 234. 
Moody, Seth. his remarkable gun, 237 — his 

brother Asaph, ib. 
Moquis Indians, praiseworthy custom of, S64. 
Moses, held up vainly as an example, 188 — 

construed by Joe Smith, ib. — (not, A. J. 

Moses) prudent way of foUowing. 265. 
Muxe invoKed, 280. 
Myths, how to interpret readily, im. 



M- J 






INDEX. 



305 



N. 



Naboths, Popish ones, how dbtingalshed, 176. 

Nanft Sahib. 240l 

Nanev. presumably Mn. Biglow. 849. 

Napoleon III. , his new chairs, 85flL 

Nation, rights of, proportionate to sixe, 174 — 
young, its flnt neeos, 960. 

National pudding, its eflect on the oi^gana of 
speech, a curious physioiogical fact, 176. 

Negroes, their double usefulness, 2216 — getting 
too current, 201. 

Nei^elim, not yet extinct, 204. 

New England overpoweringly honored, 188 — 
wants no more speakers, ib. — done brown 
by whom, ib. — her experience in beans be- 
yond Cicero's, 193. 

Newspaper, the, wonderful, 188— a strolling 
theatre, ib. — thoughts suggested by tearing 
wrapper of, 190 — a vacant sheet, ib. — a 
sheet in which a vision wasMet down, lb. — 
wrapper to a bar of soap, ib. —a cheap im- 
promptu platter, ib. 

New World, apostrophe to, 848. 

New Yorlc, letters firom, commended, 191. 

Next life, what, 188. 

Nicotiana Tabacum, a weed, 204. 

Niggers, 176 — area of abusing, extended, 181 
— Hr. Sawin's opinions of. 208. 

Nlnepence a day low for murder, 172. 

No, a monosyllable, 175 — hard to utter, lb. 

Noah enclosed letter in bottle, probably, 190, 

Noblemen, Nature's, 25b. 

Nomas, Lapland, what, 196. 

North, the, has no business, 160 • bristling, 
crowded off roost, 192— its mind naturally 
unprincipled, 268. 

North Bend, geese inhumanly treated at. 192— 
mentioned, 199. 

North star, a proposition to Indiot, 187. 

Northern Dagon, 837. 

Northmen, gens indifHttimat 968. 

Ndtre Dame de la Haine, 252. 

Now, its merits, 272. 

Nowhere, march to, 278. 



a 

CKBrien, Smith, 24a 

OflTox, 191. 

OOicers, miraculous translbrmatton In charac- 
ter of. 174 — Anglo-Saxon, come very near 
being anathematized, ib. 

Old age. an advantage of, 230. 

Old One, invoked, 258. 

Onesimus made to serve the cause of impiety, 

O'Phace, Increase D., Esq.. speech of, 170. 
Opinion, British, its worth to ns, 241. 
Opinions, certain ones compared to winter flies, 

350. 
Oracle of Pools, still resiiectfUUy consulted, 

179. 
Orion becomes commonplace, 190. 
Orrery. Lord, hiti letters (lonl !^ 191. 
Ostracism, ourioiu specieii of, 179. 
Ovidii Naaoni»t carmen mppoaiiUiwn, 280. 



P. 



Palestine. 174. 

Paley, his Evidences, 204. 



Palfrey, Hon. J. O., 180, 182 (a worthy repre- 
sentative of Massachusetts). 

Pantagruel recommends a popular oracle, 179. 

Pauurge, 241 — his interview with Qoatsuose, 
193. 

Paper, plausible-looking, wanted, 860. 

Papists, female, slain by sealous Protestant 
bomb-shell, 196. 

ParaUpomenon, a man suspected of being, 192. 

Paris, liberal principles safe as Car away as, 
188. 

PartiametUum Indoetontm sitting in perma- 
nence, 179. 

Past, the, a good nurse, ISA. 

Patience, sister, quoted, 178. 

Patriarchs, the, IQiterate, K8& 

PtUrieiu9, brogipoUns, 280. 

Payulms, their throats propagandistieaUy cut, 
174. 

Penelope, her wise choioe, 177. 

People, soft enough, 188 — want correct ideas, 
196 — the, decline to be Mexlcanlxed, 26& 

Pepin, King. 191. 

Pepperell. General, quoted, 248. 

Pequash Junction, 285. 

Periwig, 192. 

Parley, Mr. Asaph, has chai^ of bass-viol, 250. 

Perseus, King, his avarice, 242. 

Perslus, a pithy saying of, 182, note 

Pescara, Marquis, aayiiig of, 171. 

Peter, Saint, a letter of (jpoit-morUM\ 101. 

Petraroh, exploited Laura, 284. 

Petronlus, 241. 

Pettibone, Jabes. bursts up, 854. 

Pettus came over with Wuhehnns Conqnistor, 
254. 

Phaon, 884. 

Pharaoh, his lean kine, 247. 

Pharisees, opprobriouslv referred to, 18& 

Philippe, Louis, in pea-jacket. 189. 

Phillips, Wendell, catches a Tartar, 260. 

Phlegyaa ouoted, 187. 

Phrygian language, whether Adam spoke it, 
171. 

Pickens, a Norman name, 254. 

PileoxM. genealogy of. 232. 

Pilgrim Father, apparition of, 278. 

Pilgrims, the. ISl. 

Pillows, constitutional, 183. 

Pine-trees, their syuHMithy, 272. 

Pinto, Mr., some letters of his commended, 
191. 

Pisgah, an impromptu one, 198. 

Platform, party, a convenient one. 196. 

Plato, snpned with, 190 — his man, 192. 

Pleiades, the. not enonsh esteenieil, 190. 

Pliny, hid letters not amnired, 101. 

Plotinud. a «t*>ry of, 185. 

Plymouth Rock, Old, a Convention wrecked 
on. 181. 

Poeta apt to become sophisticated, 270. 

Point Tribulation, Mr. Sawin ww.kod on. 197. 

Poles, exile, whether crop of beans depends on, 
173. note. 

Polk, nonun gentile, 254. 

Polk. President, synonymous with our coun- 
try, 176 — censured, 181 — In danger of being 
crushed, 1S2. 

Polka, Mexican, 175. 

Pomp, a nmaway slave, his nest, 202 — hypo- 
critically groans like white man, ib. — blind 
to Christian privileges, ib. —his soriety 
valued at dfty dollars, ib. —his treachery. 



306 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS, 



903 — takes Mr. Sawin piiaoner, ib. — cnielly 
makes him work, ib. — puts himself illegally 
under hia tuition, ib. — dismisses him with 
contumelious epithets, ib. —b, negro, 2S4. 

PontiUcal bull a tamed one, 174. 

Pope, bis verse excellent, 171. 

pirwk, refhurtory in boiling, 174. 

Portico, the. 284. 

Portugal, Alphonso the Sixth of, a monttor, 
204. 

Post,' Boston, 177 — shaken visibly, 178 — bad 
guide-post, ib.— too swift, ib. — edited by a 
colonel, ib. — who is presumed officially in 
Mexico, ib. — referred to, 184. 

Pot-hooks, death in, 193. 

Power, a first-class, elements of, 290. 

Preacher, an ornamental symbol, 188 — a 
breeder of dogmas, ib. — eamestaeas of, im- 
portant, 204. 

Present, considered as an annalist, 188— not 
long wonderftil, 100. 

President, slaveholdlnff natural to, 180— must 
be a Southern resident, 197 — must own a 
nigger, ib. — the. his policy, 291 — his resem- 
blance to Jackson, 2912. 

Princes mix cocktails, 260. 

Principle, exposure spoils it, 180. 

Principles, bad, when less harmful, 176— when 
useless. 267. 

Professor, Latin, in College, 270 — Bcal- 

iger, 280. 

Pn>phecies, fulfilment of, 262. 

Prophecy, a notable one, 183, noU. 

ProsT>e<;t Hill, 248. 

Providence has a natural life-preserver, 248. 

Proviso, bitterly spoken of, 191. 

Prudence, sister, her idiosyncratic teapot, 1^ 

Psammeticns, an experiment of, 171. 

Psyche, poor, 285. 

Public opinion, a blind and drunken guide, 175 
— nudges Mr. Wilbur's elbow, ib. — ticklers 
of, 181. 

Punkin PSlls " Weekly Parallel,- 276. 

Putnam, General Israel, his lines. 248. 

Pythagoras a bean-hater, why, 198. 

Pythagoreans, fish reverenced by, why, 186. 



Quid, ingens nia^ianuM, 281. 
Quixote. Don, 185. 



Rafh, Professor. 263. 

Rap, one of sacred college, 175. 

Rantoul, Mr., talks loudly, 172— pious reason 
for not enlisting, ib. 

Recruiting sergeant, Devil supposed the first, 
171. 

Relitrion, Southern, its commercial advantages, 
2.'>2. 

Rei)re8<»ntatives' Chamber, 185. 

Rhinothisui, sooicty for promoting, 190. 

Rhyme, whether natural not consulered, 171. 

Rib. an infVTingiblc one, 194. 

Riohanl the First of England, his Christian fer- 
vor, 174. 

Riches conjectured to have legs as well as 
wings, 187. 

RieoM Hombres. 251. 

Ringtail Rangers, 28& 



Roanoke Island, 262. 

Robinson, Mr. John P., his opinions ftiDjf 

sUted. 176, 177. 
Rocks, pocket full of, 195. 
Roosters in rainy weather, their misery. 233. 
Rotation insures mediocrity and inexperience. 

257. 
Rough and ready, 200^« wig, 201— a kind of 

scratch, ib. 
Royal Society, American feUows of, 275. 
Rum and water combine kindly, 265. 
Runes resemble bird-tracks, 26Il 
Runic inscriptions, their different grades of m- 

intelligibility and consequent value, 96S. 
Russell, Earl, is good enough to eximnnd oar 

Constitution for us, 240. 
Russian eagle turns Prussian blue, 18Sl 
Jiyeits, Baeeki epitkeUm, 282. 



Sabbath, breach of. 164. 

Sabellianism, one accused of, 192. 

Sailors, their rights how won, 24& 

Saltillo, unfavorable view of, 173. 

Salt-river, in Mexican, what, 173^ 

Sam^id, avunatlvsj 281. 

Samuel. Uncle. 235 — riotous, 183 — yet has 
qualities demanding reverence. 18S — a good 
provider for his family, ib. — an exorbitaat 
bill of, 198 — makes some shrewd guman, 
248 - 250 — expects his boots, 255. 

Sansculottes, draw their wine before drinking, 
186. 

Santa Anna, his exv^nsive leg, 196L 

Sappho, some human nature In, 284. 

Sassy Cus, an impudent Indian. 242. 

Satan, never wants attonieys. 174 — an expert 
talker by signs, ib. —a succ&isful flsbermas 
with little or no bait, ib. — cunning fet4;h of. 
175— dislikes ridicule, 178 — ought not to 
have credit of ancient oracles, 183, noU — hii 
worst pitfall. 253. 

Satirist, incident to certain dangera, 17& 

Savages, Canadian, chance of redemption of- 
fered to. 204. 

Sawin, B., Esquire, his letter not written in 
verse, 171 — a native of Jaalam, ib. — not 
regular attendant on Rev. Mr. Wilbur'f 
preaching, 172 — a fool, ib. — his statements 
&Tistworthy, lb. — his ornithological tastes. 
ib. — letter ttom, 171. 198, 199 — his cniioas 
discovery in regard to bayonets, 172 — dis- 
plays i»fower fkmily pride, ib. — modestly 
confesses himself less wise than the Qne«n 
of Sheba, 173 —the old Adam in, i>eei« oal, 
174 —a milet emeritw, 193 — is made text for 
a sermon, ib. — loses a leg, 194 — an eye. i*. 

— left hand, ib. — four fingers of riglit haml. 
<&. — has six or more ribs broken, iA. — a rib 
of his infVangible, i*6.— allows a certain 
amount of preterite greenness in himself, ih. 

— his share of siKtil limited, 195— his o]»in- 
lon of Mexican climate, ib. — acquires pmi»- 
erty of a certain sort, ib. — his exjierienre of 
glory. 196 — stands sentry, snd puns Ihen^ 
u)K)n, ib. — undeigoes martyrdom in some of 
its nwst iminflil forms, ib. — entere the camli- 
dating bnalnesa. ib. —modestly states the 
(avail>abilit.ies which qualify him forhigli )io- 
liticjil station, 196, 197 — has no principle*. 
190 — a }ieacemaii, ib. — unpledged, ih. — hss 
no objections to owning peeviior proiieny. but 



INDEX. 



307 



Ivonld not like to monopolize the trtith, 197 
— hw Account with glory, ib. — a nelfliih mo- 
tive hinted in, ib. — saiLs for EldoraiUi, ib. — 
shipwrecked on a metaphorical promontory, 
ib. — jpanUIel between, and Rev. Mr. Wilbur 
(not Platarchian). 198 — coivjectured to have 
bathed in river Selemnus, 199 — loves plough 
wisely, but not too well, ib. — a foreign mis- 
sion probably exi)ected by, ib. — unanlmons- 
ly nominated for presidency, ib. — his coun- 
try's fothcr- in-law. 200 — nobly emulates 
Cincinnatus. ib. — is not a crooked stick, ib. 

— advises his adherents, ib. — views of, on 
present state of politics, 199 - 201 — popular 
enthmiasm for, at Bellers's. and its disagree- 
able consequences, 200 — inhuman treatment 
of, by Sellers, 201 — his opinion of the two 

farties, ib. — agrees with Mr. Webster, ib. — 
is antislavery zeal, 201 — his proper self- 
respect. 202 — his unalfected piety, to. — his 
not intemperate temperance, ib. — a thrilling 
adventure of, 202-203 — his prudence and 
economy. 202 — bound to Captain Jakes, but 
regains his freedom, 203 — is taken prisoner, 
ib. ^ ignominiouflly treated, ib. — his conse- 
quent resolution, io. 
Sawin, Honorable U. 0'F.,a vein of humor sus- 
pecte^l in, 232 — gets into an enchanted cas- 
tle, 233 — fiiuU n woo<len leg Iwtter in some 
resitects than a living one, 234 — takes some- 
tliini; hot, ib. — his exi>crience of Honthem 
hospitality, 234, 233 — waterproof internally, 
234 — sentenceil to ten yeirs" imprisonment, 
235 — his liberal-handediieH.1. 23d — gets his 
arrears of pension, ib. — marries the Widow 
Shannon, 237 — conflscatecl, tb. — finds in 
himself a natural ne<-cssity of income. 238 — 
his missionary zeal, ib. — never a stated at- 
tendant on Mr Wilbur's preaching, 250 — 
■ang heme in choir, ib. — prudently avoided 
eontribution towanl bell. lb. —abhors a cov- 
enant of works, 252 — if saved at all, must be 
8ave«l genteelly, tb. — re|X)rts a sermon. 253 

— exiierienccs religion, tb. — would consent 
to a aukedom, 254 — converted to unanlmitv, 
255 — sound views of, 256 — makes himself 
an extemfwre marquis, 257 — extract of let- 
ter ttom, 204. 295— his opinion of Paddies, 
2M — of Johnson, 295. 

Sayres, a martyr, 185. 

Si'aliger, snying of, 1761 

Scanxb(i;iis plluluriHS, 173. 

Scott, Geoeral, his claims to the presidency, 
1 78, I7l». 

Scrimgour, Rev. Sheaijashub. 283. 

Beythlans, their diplomacy commended, 193. 

Sea. the wormy, 2(M. 

Seamen, colored, sold, 171. 

5«ce«5{a, licta, 281. 

Secesttion. its legal nature dcflned, 287. 

Secret, a great military, 270. 

Seleninus. a sort of I..ethcan river, 109. 

SeiMte, debate in. made reiidable, 185. 

Senccn, saying of, 175 — another, 183, noU — 
overniteil by a saint (but see Lord Boling- 
broke's opinion of. in a letter to Dean Swift), 
191 — his Icfers not commemletl. ib. — a sou 
of Rev. Mr. Wilbur, 198- quoted, 276, 277. 

Serlwnian bog of literature. 184. 

Sermons, some pitched too high. 250. 

Seward, Mister, the late, his gift of prophecy, 
243 — neefis stlflTening, 291 — mlsanderstands 
panble of fatted calf, <b. i 



Sextons, demand for, 178 — heroic olBciAl de- 
votion of one, 204. 

Seymtiur, Governor, 277. 

Shttkesjieare, 285 — a good reporter, 179. 

Shaking fever.considered as an employment,195. 

Sham, President, honest, 181. 

Shannon. Mi-s., a widow, 235 — her family and 
accomplishments, 237 — has tantrums, ih. - 
her religious views, 252 — her notions of a 
moral and intellectual being, 253— her 
maiden name, 254— her blue blood, ib. 

Sheba, Queeu of, 173. 

Sheep, none of Rev. Mr. Wllbttr's tuned wolves, 
171. 

Shem, Scriptural curse of, 208. 

Shiraz, Centre, lead-mine at, 254. 

Shirley, Governor, 242. 

Shoddy, poor covering for outer or inner msn, 
274. 

Shot at sight, privilege of being, 255i 

Show, natural to love it, 173, noU. 

Silver spoon bom in Democracy's month, what, 
182. 

Sin, wilderness of, modem, what, 188. 

Sinai suffers outrages, 188. 

Skim-milk has its own opinions, 873. 

Skin, hole in, strange taste of some for, 195. 

Skippers, Yankee, busy in tlie slave-trade, 258. 

Sinmis, an intellectual giant, twin-birth with 
Maury (which see), 254. 

Slaughter, whether God strengthen us for, 175. 

Slaughterers and soldiers compared, 199. 

Slaughtering nowadays u slaughtering, 199. 

Slavery, of no color, 170 — comer-stone of 
liberty, 184 — also keystone, 186 — lastcmmb 
of Eden, 187 — a Jonah, ib. — an institution, 
192 - a private State concern, 202. 

Slldell, New York trash, 262. 

Sloanshure. Habakknk, Esquire. President of 
Jaalam Bank, 258. 

Smith, Joe, usckI as a translation, 188. 

Smith, John, an interesting character. 190. 

Smith, Mr., fears entertained for, 187— dined 
with, 190. 

Smith, N. B., his magnanimity, 189. 

Smiihius, diix^ 200. 

Soandso, Mr., the great, defines his position, 
188. 

Soft-heartedness, misplaced, is sofb-headed- 
ness. 278. 

Sol. the flshennan, 173 — soundness of respira- 
tory organs hypothetically attributed to, ih. 

Soldiers. British, ghosts of. insubordinate, 243. 

Solomon. Song of, portions of it done into Latin 
verse by Mr. Wilbur, 279. 

Solon, a .saying of, 175. 

Soul, injurious properties of, 257. 

South, the, its natural eloquence, 968 — facts 
have a mean spite against, 262. 

South Carolina, futile attempt to anchor, 1S5 
— her pedigrees, 251. 

Southern men, their imperfect notions of labor, 
235 — of subarriptions, 236 — too high-pres- 
sure, 23S — prima facie noble, 254. 

Spanish, to walk, wliat, 174. 

Si>eech-inaking, an abuse of gift of speech, ISt. 

Spirit-rapping docs not repay the spirits en- 

Saged in it, 274. 
it- Foot, Old. made to squirm, 238. 
Si»ring. described, 270, 271. 
Star, north, subject to indictment, whether, 187 
Statesman, a genuine, defined, 268. 
Steams, Othntel, fable by, 293. 



n 



308 



THE BIGLOW PAPERS. 



Stone Spfke, the, US. 

Store, ciieap o«sli, a wicked tnmd, IM. 

Strong, Governor Caleb, a fiatriot, 177. 

Style. Uie catalogue, 271. 

Sumter, shame of. 347. 

Sunday should mind its own business, 26& 

Swearing commeuded as a flgiire of speech, 171, 

nolfl. 
Swett, Jethro C.» his ftdl, 2S& 
Swift, Dean, threadbare saying of, 178. 



T. 

Tag, elevated to the CaTdlntdate, 175. 

Tauey. C. J..257. 

Tarandfeather, Rev. Mr., 255. 

Tarbox Sheaijaahub, tint white child bora In 

Jaalani. 239. 
TarUrs. Mongrel, 2S4. 
Taxes, direct, advantages of, 1P6. 
Taylor, General, greased by Mr. Choate, 201. 
Taylor seal, its origin, 200. 
TeaiMts, how made dangerous, 877. 
Ten, the upper, 255. 

Tesephone, oanished for long-windednets, 184. 
ThacKer, Rev. Preserved, D. D., 275. 
Thanks get lodged, 105. 
Thanksgiving, Fedee, 284. 
Thauuiatiugus, Saint Gregory, letter of, to the 

Devil, 191. 
Tlieleme. Abbey of, 258. 
Theocritus, the inventor of idyllic poetry, tSO. 
Theory, defined. 265. 
Tlierniopyles, too many, 262. 
" They 11 say " a notable bully, 24d 
Thirty-nine articles might be made s^vlceable, 

175. 
Thor. a foolish attempt of, 185. 
Thoreau, 239. 

Thoughts, live ones characterized, 286. 
Thumb, Genffral Thomas, a valuable member of 

society, 183. 
Thunder, supposed in easy circumstances, 194. 
Thynne, Mr., murdered, 171. 
Tibullus, 270. 
Time, an innocent personage to swear by, 172, 

note — a scene-shifter, 190. 
Tinkham, Deacon Pelatiah. story concerning, 

not told, 238 — alluded to, 239 — does a very 

sensible thing, 252. 
Toms, peeping, 190. 
Toombs, a doleful sound from, 262. 
Trees, various kinds of extraordinary ones, 197. 
Trowbridge.Wllliam, mariner, adventure of, 175. 
Truth and faliiehood start ftoni same )X)int, 176 

— truth invulnerable to satire, i6. — compared 

to a river. 179 — of Action sometimes truer 

tlian fact, ib. — told plainly, passim, 
TuileHes, exciting scene at, 18S — ft-ont parlor 

of, 259. 
Tnlly, a saving of, 180, note. 
Tunnel, northwest-passage, a poor investment, 

268. 
Turkey-Buzzard Roost, 237. 
TuRcaloosa, 237. 

Ttitrliel, Rev. Jonas, a Sadducee, 265. 
Twoediedee, gosiwl acconlmg to. 188. 
Twecdle<lum. great i)rineii>le8 of, 188. 
Tyicrusjuven w insignls. 280 — porpkyrogenitiu, 

2S1 — JoAauMirfw, Jlito eelerUt 282 — be»e 

tit us, ib. 
Tyrants, European, how made to tremble, 885. 



V. 



UlyMes, husband of Penelope, 177 — benowi 

money, 198 (for tail iiarticiuars of, see Hosier 

and Dante) — rex, 280. 
Unanimity, new waysi of producing, 855. 
Union, its hoops off, It55 — its good oki racsa- 

ing, 266. 
Universe, its breeching, 255. 
Universitv. triennial catalogue c^ 178. 
Us, nobody to be compared with, S35, and lee 

IVoridtpamm. 



V. 

Von Baren Catla of gaining Mr. Sawtn's eoafi- 

dence. 202 — his son John reproved, ib. 
Van, Old. plan to set up, 201. 
Vatt<>l, as Ukely to fkll on your toes as on miae. 

249. 
Venetians invented something once, 196. 
Vices, cardinal, sacred conclave of, 175. 
Victoria, Queen, her natural terror, 183— her 

best carpets, 259. 
Vinland, 264. 
Virgin, the. letter of, to Magistrates of Messho. 

191. 
Virginia, duenpta, 280. 281. 
Virginians, their fklse heraldiy, 251. 
Voltain, etprU de, 28a 
Vratz, Captain, a Pomeranian, singuUr views of, 

171. 



W. 

Wachuset Mountain, 246. 

Wait, General, 242. 

Wales, Prinoe of, calls Brother Jonathan eoi- 

mng^UneHs noater, 241 — but had not, appir- 

ently, consulted tlie Garter King at Aims, ih 
Wal^wle, Horace, classed, 190 — his letten 

praised, 191. 
Waltham Plain. Comwallis at, 172. 
Walton, punctilious in his intercoorse with 

fishes, 175. 
War, ab8tra<!t, horrid, 191— its hoppers, giist 

of, what, 195. 
Warren, Fort, 277. 
Warton. Thomas, a story of, 179. 
Washington, charge brought against, 200. 
Washington, city of, climatic inSnenre of. on 

coats, 180 — mentioned, 185 — grand jury ^. 

187. 
Wasliingtons, two hatched at a time by im^ 

provM machine, 800. 
WatehmantiM, noctimgtat 882. 
Water, Taunton, proverbially weak, 808. 
Water-trees, 107. 
We, 272. 

Weak wash, a name fktally typical, 842. 
Webster, his unabridged quarto, its deleterious- 

neas, 279. 
Webster, some sentiments of, commended b? 

Mr. Sawin. 201. 
Westcott. Mr., his horror. 187. 
Whig party has a large throat, 178 — hat qiKty 

as to swallowing spurs. 201. 
White-house. 192. 
Wickliffe, Robert, conseqnenoea of his bust' 

Ing, 277. 
Wife-trees, 197. 



1 



INDEX. 



309 



WilboT, Mis. Dorcas (Pilcoz). an invariable 
rule of, 178— her profile, 179— tribute to, 

•7a. 

Wilbur, Rev. Homer. A. M., consulted. 169 — 
his huitractiorui to his flock, 1 71 — a propoei- 
tion of his for Protestant bomb-shells, 175 — 
his elbow nud^, ib. — his notions of satire, 
ib. — some opmions of his -quoted with ap- 
parent approval by Mr. Blglow, 170— geo- 
graphical speculations of, 177— a Justice of 
the peace, tt. — a letter of, i6. — a Latin pun 
of, tft. — runs against a post without injury, 
178 — does not seek notoriety (whatever some 
malignants may affirm), <6. — fits youths for 
^Uege, ib. —a chaplain during late war with 
England, 179 — a shrewd observation of, ib. 
—some curious specuhiUons of, 184, 185 — 
his martello-tower, 184 — forgets he is not in 
pulpit. 187, 193— extracts from sermon of, 
187, 189 — interested Ui John Smith, ItfO — 
his views concerning present state of letters, 
190, 191 —a stratagem of, 192 — ventures two 
hundred and fourth interpretation of Beast 
in Apocalypse. i6.— christens Hon. B. 8a wm, 
then an in&nt, 193 — an addition to our sylva 
proposed by, 197— curious and instructive 
adventure of, 198 — his account with an un- 
natural uncle, ib. — his uncomfortable imagi- 
nation, 199 — speculations concerning Cm- 
ciunatus, ib. — confesses digressive tendency 
of mind, 204 —goes to work on sermon (not 
without fear that his readers will dub hlra 
with a reproai;hful epithet like that with 
which Isaac Allerton, a Mayflower man, ro- 
ven^ himself on a delinquent debtor of his, 
eallmg him in his will, and thus holding him 
up to posterity, as "John Peterson, The 
Bore"), ib. —his modesty, 281 — disclaims 
tok authorship of Mr. Biglow's writings, ib. 
— his tow opinion of propensive autographs, 
ib, —a chaplain in 1812. 232 — cites a heathen 
eomedian, 288 — his fondnaas lot the Book 



of Job, ib. —preaches a Fast-Day discourse, 
ib. — is prevented from narrating a singular 
occurrence, ib.~i» presented with a pair of 
new spectacles, 238 — his churoh services in- 
decx>rously sketched by Mr. Sawin, 253 — 
hopes to decipher a Runic inscription, 257 — 
a fable by, 258 — deciphen Runic inscription, 
2tf3 - 265 — his method therein, 264 — is ready 
to reconsider his opinion of tobacco, 265 — 
his opinion of the Puritans, 270— his death, 
275 — bom in Pigsgusset, ib. — letter of Rev. 
Mr. Hitchcock concerning. 276, 270— fond 
Of Milton's Christmas hymn, 276 —his monu- 
ment (proposed), ib. — his epitaph, ib. — his 
last letter, 276, 277 — his supposed disem- 
bodied spirit, 279 — table belonging to. ib. — 

— sometimes wrote Latin verses, ifr. — his 
teble-talk, 283 - 285 — his prv^Jndlces. 283 — 
against Baptists, ib. — his sweet nature, 288 

— his views of style, ib. —a story of hia, 289. 
Wildboro, a vernacular one, how to escape, 184. 
Wilkes, Captain, borrows rashly, 244. 

Wind, the, a good Samaritan, 193. 

Wingfleld, his " Memorial." 251. 

Wooden leg, remarkable for sobriety, 194 — 

never eats pudding, ib. 
Woods, the. See Buvumt 
Works, covenants of, condemned, 252. 
World, this, its unhappy temper, 283. 
Wright, Colonel, providentially rescued, 178. 
Writing dangerous to reputation, 232. 
Wrong, ahstraotk safe to oppose, 181. 



y. 

Tankees, their worst wooden nutmegs, 268. 



Zack, Old, SOO. 






THE UNHAPPY LOT OF MR. KNOTT. 



1850. 



■»w ^ ■ ■» 



I 



/^ 



THE UNHAPPY LOT OF MR KNOTT. 



PART L 

SHOWING HOW HE BUILT HIS HOUSE 
AND HIS WIFE MOVED INTO IT. 

Ht worthy friend, A. Gordon Enott, 

From business snug withdrawn, 
Was much contented with a lot 
That would contain a Tudor cot 
'Twixt twelve feet square of garden-plot. 
And twelve feet more of lawn. 

He had laid business on the shelf 

To give his taste exiiansion, 
And, since no man, retired with pelf, 

The building mania can shun, 
Enott, being middle-aged himself, 
Besolved to build (unhappy elf!) 

A medisval mansion. 

He called an architect in counsel ; 

**I want," said he, **a — you know 
what, 

(Tou are a builder, I am Knott,) 

A thing complete from chimney-pot 
Bown to the very grounsel ; 

Here *s a half-acre of good land ; 

Just have it nicely mapped and 
planned 
And make your workmen drive on ; 

Meadow thei-e is, and upland too, 

And I should like a water-view, 
D' you think you could contrive one ? 

(rerha|)8 the pump and trough would 
do, 

If painted a judicious blue ?) 

The woodland 1 Ve attended to " ; 

[He meant three pines stuck up 
askew. 
Two dead ones and a live one.] 

''A pocket-full of rocks 'twould take 
To build a house of freestone. 

But then it is not hard to make 



What nowadays is the stone ; 
The cunnine painter in a trice 
Your house s outside petrifies, 
And people think it very gneiss 

Without inquiring deeper ; 
My money never shall be thrown 
Away nn such a deal of stone. 

When stone of deal is cheaper." 

And so the pivonest of anticiues 

Was ivnred f« r Knott to dwell in : 
The architect worked hard for weeks 
In venting all his private peaks 
Upon the roof, whose crop of leaks 

Had satisfied Fluellen ; 
Whatever anybody had 
Out of the common, good or bed, 

Enott had it all worked well in ; 
A donjon-keep, where clothes might 

dry, 
A porter's lodse that was a sty, 
A campanile slim and high, 

Too small to hang a bell in ; 
All up and down and here and there, 
With Lord-knows-whats of round and 

srjnare 
Stuck on at random everywhere, — 
It was a house to make one stare. 

All comers and all gables ; 
Like dogs let loose upon a bear. 
Ten emulous styles staboyed with care, 
The whole among them seemed to tear. 
And all the oddities to spare 

Were set upon the stables. 

Enott was delighted with a pile 
Approved by fashion's leaaers : 

(Only he made the builder smile, 

Bv asking every little while, 

Why that was called the Twodoor style. 
Which certainly had three doors ?) 

Yet better for this luckless man 

If he had put a downright ban 



3U 



THE UNHAFPT LOT OV ICB. KKOXT. 



1 



« 

Upon the thing in limine ; 
For, though to quit affairs hid phm. 
Ere many days, )KX)r Knott began 
Perforce accepting draughts, tlmt ran 

All ways — exceut up chimney ; 
The house, thougn painted stone to 

mock, 
With nice white lines round erery 
block, 

Some trepidation stood in. 
When tempests (with petrilic shock. 
So to speak,) made it I'eally rock, 

Thoiigli not a whit less wooden ; 
And (minte<l stone, howe'er well done^ 
Will not take in the prodiizal sun 
Whose beams are never quite at one 

With our terrestrial lumber ; 
So the wood shrank around the knots, 
And gaped in disconcerting spots, 
And there were lots of dots and rota 

And crannies without number, 
Wherethrough, as you may well pre- 
sume, 
The wind, like water through a flume, 

Came rushing in ecstatic, 
Lt^ving, in all three floors, no room 

That was not a rheumatic ; 
And, what with points and squares and 
rounds 

Grown shaky on their poises, 
The house at nights was mil of pounds, 
Thumps, bumps, creaks, scretchings, 

rails — till -. " Zounds ! " 
Cried Knott, "this goes beyond all 

bounds ; 
I do not deal in tongues and sounds, 
Nor have 1 let my house and grounds 

To a family of Noyeses I " 

But, though Knott's house was full of 
airs, 

ffe had but one, — a daughter ; 
And, as he owned much stocks and 

sharas. 
Many who wished to render theirs 
Such vain, unsatisfying cares. 
And needed wives to sew their tears, 

In matrimony sought her ; 
They vowed her gold they wanted not. 

Their faith would never falter. 
They longed to tie this single Knott 

In the Hymeneal halter ; 
So daily at the door they rang, 

Canls for the belle delivering. 
Or in the choir at her they sang, 
Achieving such a rapturous twang 

As set her nerves ashivering. 



Now Knott had quite made nn his mmd 

That Colonel Jones should have her ; 
No beauty he, but oft we And 
Sweet kernels 'neath a roughlsh rind. 
So hoped his Jenny *d be resigned 

Ana make no more palaver ; 
Glanced at the fact that love was blind, 
That girls were ratherish inclined 

To pet their little crosses. 
Then nosologically detined 
The rate at whicli the system pined 
In those unfortunates who dined 
Upon that metaphoric kind 

Of dish — their own proboscia 

But she, with many tears and moans. 

Besought him not to mock her. 
Said 't was too much for flesh and bones 
To marry mortgages and loans. 
That fathere* nearts were stocks and 

stones. 
And that she 'd go, when Mis. Jones, 

To Davy Jones's locker ; 
Then gave her head a little toss 
Tliat said as pUin as ever was. 
If men are always at a loss 

Mere womankind to bridle — 
To try the thing on woman cross 

Were fifty times as idle ; 
For she a strict resolve had made 

And registered in private. 
That either she would die a maid. 
Or else be Mrs. Doctor Slade, 

If woman could contrive it ; 
And, though the wedding-day was aet^ 

Jenny was more so, rather. 
Declaring, in a pretty pet, 
That, howsoe'er they spread their net. 
She would out-Jennyral them yet. 

The colonel and her father. 

Just at this time the Public's eyes 

Were keenly on the watch, a stir 
Beginning slowly to arise 
About those questions and replies, 
Those rap that unwrapped mysteries 

So rapidly at Rochester, 
And Knott, already nervous grown 
By lying much awake alone. 
And listening, sometimes to a moan. 

And sometimes to a clatter. 
Whene'er the wind at night would roose 
The gingerbread-work on his house. 
Or when some hasty^tempered mouse, 
Behind the plastering, made a towae 

About a family matter. 
Began to wonder if his wife^ 



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THE UNHAPPY LOT OF MB. KNOTT. 



315 



A pand}iic half her life, 

Whicii madt* it more surprising, 
Might not to rule him from her urn, 
Have taken a peripatetic turn 

For want of exorcising. 

This thought, once nestled in his head, 
Erelong contagious grew, and spread 
Infecting all his mind with dread. 
Until at last he la;^ in bed 
And heard his wife, with well-known 

tread. 
Entering the kitchen through the shed, 

(Or was 't his fancy, mocking f) 
Opening the nantry, cutting bread, 
And then (sne'd been some ten years 
dead) 

Closets and drawers unlocking ; 
Or, in his room (his breath grew thick) 
He heard the long-familiar click 
Of slender needles flying quick. 

As if she knit a stocking ; 
For whom ? — he prayed that yeara might 
flit 

With pains rheumatic shooting. 
Before those ghostly things she knit 
Upon his unfleshed sole might fit, 
He did not fancy it a bit. 

To stand upon that footing ; 
At other times, his frightened hairs 

Above the bedclothes trusting, 
He heard«her, full of household cares, 
(No dream entrapped in supper's snares, 
The foal of horrible niglitmares, 
But broad awake, as he declares,) 
Go bustling up and down the stiurs, 
Or setting back last evening's chairs, 

Or with the poker thrusting 
The raked -up sea -coal's hardened 

crust — 
And — what ! impossible ! it must 1 
He knew she had returned to dust, 
And yet could scarce his senses trust, 
Hearing her as she poked and fussed 

About the parior, dusting-! 

Night after night he strove to sleep 
And take his ease in spite of it ; 
But still his flesh would chill and creep, 
And, though two night-lamps he might 
keep, 
He could not so make light of it. 
At last, quite desperate, he goes 
And tells his neighbors all his woes. 

Which did but their amount enhance ; 
They made such mockery of his fears 
That soon his days were of all jeers. 



His nights of the rueful countenance ; 
'* 1 thought most folks," one neighbor 

said, 
"Gave up the ghost when they were 

dead ? " 
Another gravely shook his head, 

Adding, ** From all we hear, it 's 
Quite plain poor Knott is going mad — 
For how can he at once be sad 

And think he 's full of spirits / " 
A third declared he knew a knife 

Would cut this Knott much nuicker, 
" The surest way to end all strife. 
And lay the spirit of a wife. 

Is just to take and lick her ! " 
A temperance man caught up the word, 
"Ah, yes," he groaned, "1 've always 
heard 

Our poor friend somewhat slanted 
Tow'rd taking liquor overmuch ; 
1 fear these spirits may be Dutch, 
(A sort of gins, or something such,) 

With which his house is haunted ; 
1 see the thing as clear as light, — 
If Knott would give up getting tight. 

Naught farther would be wantS " : 
So all his neighbors stood aloof 
And, that the spirits 'neath his roof 
Were not entirely up to proof, 

Unanimously granted. 

Knott knew that cocks and sprites were 

foes. 
And so bought up, Heaven only knows 
How manv, though he wanted crows 
To give gnosts caws, as I suppose, 

To think that day was breaking ; 
Moreover what he called his park. 
He turned into a kind of ark 
For dogs, because a little bark 
Is a g(^ tonic in the dark. 

If one is given to waking ; 
But things went on from bad to worse. 
His curs were nothing but a curse, 

And, what was still more shocking, 
Foul ghosts of living fowl made scoff 
And would not think of ^oing off 

In spite of all his cockma^ 
Shanghais, Bucks-counties, Dominiquei\ 
Mnlavs (that did n't lay for weeks,) 

Polanders, Bantams, Dorkings, 
(Waiving the cost, no trifling ill, 
Since each brought in his little bill,) 
By day or night were never still, 
But every thought of rest would kill 

With cacklings and with qnorkings ; 
Henry the Eighth of wives got free 



j 



In such « conratenition : 
!)ne ijiuiRk hii button ([ently plucks 
Ainl niiirmnr*, " Biliary ducks ! " 

Says Knotl, " I never ate one " ; 
J)ut all, thnigih briniinjnK full or wrath, 
Homteo, Alio, Hydroptith, 
L'oneuireil in thb — that t" other'a path 

To death's door was the atnight one. 



IdIo one Chada (father o( If ox,) 
Nbdepluil — lb ef shoveled knock*. 

Ana knocked, knocked, knooked. 
eternally ; 
Ever upon the go, like hnoya, 
(Wooden aea-urchins,) all Knott'ajoys, 
Thev turned to troubles and a noise 

That preyed on biin intmwJly. 



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^:::':.'C LIBRARY 






THE XWHAPPY LOT 0? MB. KNOTT. 



317 



Soon they mw wider in their scope ; 
Wheuever Knott a door would ope, 
It would ope not, or elve elope 
And fly back (curbleas as a trope 
Once started down a stanza's slope 
By a bard that gave it too much rope — ) 

Like a clap of thunder slamm